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Tilting at Windmills

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July 19, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

HEZBOLLAH AND THE IDF, PART 2....Conservative pundits are seemingly united in their belief that Israel shouldn't leave Lebanon until Hezbollah is completely destroyed. Earlier today I asked if this was even feasible: "The IDF spent nearly two decades in Lebanon until Ehud Barak withdrew in 2000, and presumably was doing its very best during that time to destroy Hezbollah. But they weren't able to do it. So what's changed since then to make us think that the IDF can do it now?"

Via email, Aaron Rutkoff suggests that, conservative pundits to the contrary, utter destruction probably isn't the goal of the Israeli military:

I don't think anyone in the IDF believes a total elimination of Hezbollah is possible, even if Israeli forces had two decades instead of two weeks to pursue a military solution. But remember that in Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon and the ill-conceived occupation that followed the aim wasn't to uproot the Shiite non-state militia of Hezbollah. Instead, the IDF circa 1982 wanted to uproot a secular non-state militia (the PLO under Arafat) and at least that original mission must be viewed as a success (Arafat and his army did flee en masse on slow boats to Tunis, after all). Hezbollah filled in the power vacuum the IDF's prolonged presence created in the south, and they managed to thwart the IDF only as a guerrilla hit-and-run movement, not as a quasi-military with established firing positions and whatnot.

What's changed since then is that Hezbollah in south Lebanon today is much more like the PLO of 1982 than the Hezbollah of the mid-90s. I've been there to the border. Hezbollah has military-style border outposts with its own yellow flags and watch towers. The IDF and the Hezbollah soldiers shadow each other, much like hostile armies do along international boundaries everywhere in the world. It does not seem inconceivable to me that the IDF could smash these sorts of hardened positions and severely degrade Hezbollah's missile-launching infrastructure (these are not crude Hamas-style rockets, after all, but more sophisticated imports from Iran).

In this way, Hezbollah may be reduced to a guerrilla army again. And then, presumably, the regular Lebanese army or (more likely, in my opinion) an EU-led force can replace Hezbollah on the border. So Hezbollah wouldn't be gone (none of the Haaretz analysts suggest this is even a remote possibility), but they just wouldn't be left ruling the southern boundary like they have been since the IDF left six years ago.

I'm not quite sure how the bombing of Beirut figures into this, but what do I know? In any case, this sounds like a pretty plausible answer: it's not a matter of destroying Hezbollah, just a matter of bombing them back to their guerrilla roots. Time will tell if this works.

Kevin Drum 7:01 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (368)

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The next 6 months in Lebanon will.........

Posted by: R.L. on July 19, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK
Conservative pundits are seemingly united in their belief that Israel shouldn't leave Lebanon until Hezbollah is completely destroyed.

"Conservative pundits" tend to take their marching orders from the administration.

The administration position has been exactly that; its what the US (through Dr. Rice) has cited as its reason for opposing calls for a cease-fire.

So, really, nothing new here.

I'm not quite sure how the bombing of Beirut figures into this, but what do I know?

The bombing of the airport (and the seaport) seems to be (at least notionally, in official statements) directed at preventing Hezbollah from resupplying; other bombing in and around Beirut seems perhaps to be targeting things that mind sort-of resemble possible maybe rocket-ish things, like a water drilling rig in a Christian suburb that apparently consisted of a tube-ish thing on a truck-ish thing, and was bombed maybe because it might have resembled a rocket-ish thing.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 19, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

The important thing, of course, is that they drop bombs. The rest is details...

Posted by: craigie on July 19, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not quite sure how the bombing of Beirut figures into this, . . . Kevin Drum

It doesn't at all.

Again, while Hezbollah is the defacto government in much of the south, which was the result primarily of the break down of the state during civil war years and because of generous patronage from Syria and Iran, Hezbollah does not run the utilities, airport or sea ports for the rest of the country.

Israel is not just attempting to destroy the military capability of Hezbollah, which has been for the Palestinians in exile a much more effective political-social origanization than the PLO or Hamas have ever been in the occupied territories, Israel is destroying the infrastructure of Lebanon in general. For this, the U.S. should have condemned Israel from day one.

Posted by: JeffII on July 19, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK


Re: "I'm not quite sure how the bombing of Beirut figures into this, but what do I know?"

In addition to what is noted above, I take it that Hezbollah's central political offices have been bombed, and they are in Beirut. Presumably the residences of several key figures are also being targeted.

Incidentally, there was a good oped piece by Amos Oz (Israeli novelist, and founder of Peace Now) in today's Globe and Mail.

Posted by: LisainVan on July 19, 2006 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

Iraq invaded a neighboring country, Kuwait, in 1990 and the United States went to war against the offender, slaughtering thousands of the invader's troops. Israel invades a neighboring country, Lebanon, attacking hospitals and committing war crimes as defined at Nuremberg and the United States "urges restraint".

No hypocrisy here.

[By the way, anyone seen Condi Rice? Is she shopping???]

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on July 19, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK
Israel is destroying the infrastructure of Lebanon in general. For this, the U.S. should have condemned Israel from day one.

If you believe this Haaretz column, one reason its not is because Israeli is doing this as a proxy for the United States.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 19, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

Via email, Aaron Rutkoff suggests that, conservative pundits to the contrary, utter destruction probably isn't the goal of the Israeli military

Wrong again Kevin. Utter destruction is absolutely necessary because hundreds of Iranian troops are in Lebanon right now attacking Israel.

Link

"Hundreds of Iranian Revolutionary Guard personnel are on the ground in Lebanon fighting Israel, security sources say."
"I have no doubt whatsoever that they are there and operating some of the equipment," an Arab diplomatic source told The New York Sun yesterday."
"Another foreign source, based in Washington, said the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps contingent in Lebanon is based in Beirut and in the Bekaa Valley. He said the troops usually number a few dozen, but that the size of the force increased in connection with the hostilities that have broken out between Israel and Iran's proxy, Hezbollah, over the past week."

Anything short of utter destruction would leave those Iranian troops in Lebanon which would mean Israel will have lost to Hezbollah. This cannot be.

Posted by: Al on July 19, 2006 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

doing its very best during that time to destroy Hezbollah. But they weren't able to do it.

Here's a test. Take a bar magnet. A positive pole and a negative pole. Now cut the magnet in half, spliting the two poles. Now throw away the negative pole. See, no more negative pole. What's that? There's a new negative pole on the positive half we kept? Hmmm. Let's try it again.

And again. And again.

You say it doesn't seem to be working?

Well, here's a better test; start a small fire in your home to run our the pests. Not working? Try pouring gasoline on it. How's that working now? Not so good? You're obviously not pouring enough gas on the fire.

Pour more. And more.

Let me know how things turn out.

Posted by: Thumb on July 19, 2006 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

At least as far as the neocons are concerned, craigie has it exactly right.

Catch this scathing critique of the neocon bloodlust from Cato-at-Liberty of all places.

Now, you could marvel at the brazenness of all this: the same people who helped lead us into the biggest foreign policy disaster in 30 years trying to push another war (or wars) on us without so much as a prefatory sorry about the whole Iraq thing, old boy. But the current squawking also strikes me as a useful reminder of how very, very important war is in the neoconservative vision. It is as central to that vision as peace is to the classical liberal vision.
For the neoconservatives, its not about Israel. Its about war. War is a bracing tonic for the national spirit and in all its forms it presents opportunities for national greatness. Ultimately, American purpose can find its voice only in Washington, David Brooks once wrote. And Washingtons never louder or more powerful than when it has a war to fight.

The future of the neocon movement is one of the three big questions arising from the present ME set of conflicts. The others are the future of the Hair-Trigger Pre-emptive Doctrine and the question of whether overwhelming force actually gets the job done at all.

Regards, Cernig

Posted by: Cernig on July 19, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

"it's not a matter of destroying Hezbollah, just a matter of bombing them back to their guerrilla roots"

Well, duh. Completly destroying any organization is, um, hard. Israel just want to hurt Hezbollah as badly as they possibly can. If the IDF is able to completly destroy the Hiz, I'm sure they'd be thrilled. But there's no way the complete destruction of Hizbollah is anything more than a fond hope of the IDF.

Posted by: mjk on July 19, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

When the awful contracted word "attrit" makes its appearance I'll believe Israel just wants to drive Hezbollah back down to guerilla status.

Posted by: Linkmeister on July 19, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

I'm curious. How does Israels actions compare with the actions of the US in bombing the infrastructure of Serbia during the Bosnia & Kosovo crises.

Did the folks now objecting to Israel's actions object to that?

If not, why not?

Posted by: carib on July 19, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Hezbollah killed eight soldiers, kidnapped two and rained rockets all over northern Israel and you're asking why Israel is doing this?

Posted by: cld on July 19, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

to those not familiar with the NY Sun, as linked to by Al:
the paper is funded by Bruce Kovner, a billionaire neocon, super pro-Israel hawk.

a quick google will fill you in on the details. never actually saw anyone buying or reading the rag.

Posted by: nyc on July 19, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

they aren't guerillas, they are a resistance

Posted by: michele on July 19, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK
Hezbollah killed eight soldiers, kidnapped two and rained rockets all over northern Israel and you're asking why Israel is doing this?

Its not like Israel was staying on their side of the border and being peaceful before Hezbollah did that.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 19, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Thumb

You might want to do a test of your own. Take a Hizbollah rocket sitting in a Hizbollah weapons cache. Blow it up by dropping a bomb on it. Now. Try to launch the rocket into Israel. It doesn't work? Ok, drop another bomb on another rocket. See if THAT rocket will kill any jews. No? Dammit!


Posted by: mjk on July 19, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK


"Israel is destroying the infrastructure of Lebanon in general."

Don't worry. Halliburton will fix everything.

Posted by: b on July 19, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

"its not like Israel was staying on their side of the border and being peaceful before Hezbollah did that."

Israel started it!

Yeah, perhaps they did. They'll finish it too.

Posted by: mjk on July 19, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK
How does Israels actions compare with the actions of the US in bombing the infrastructure of Serbia during the Bosnia & Kosovo crises.

Poorly; for one thing, Israel claims that it is not targeting Lebanon but Hezbollah, and that its problem is that the government of Lebanon is to weak and has failed to disarm and displace Hezbollah in the South, and that its condition for ceasing hostilities is that the Lebanese government do that.

Its targeting critical Lebanese infrastructure at best tangentially related to Hezbollah reduces the capacity of the Lebanese government to do so, even after any success one might imagine Israel might have in disrupting the military infrastructure (fortifications, etc.) of Hezbollah and reducing it back to a guerrilla resistance.

The NATO campaign, while it also targetted much Serbian infrastructure, was openly directed against the Serbian government. We didn't pretend we were on the side of Serbia, but just wanted them to take care of some rogue elements, so targeting Serbian infrastructure was perfectly in line with the overt goals. I'd also argue that, given the actual ongoing harm being done that each was aimed at stopping, and the prospect of success each tactic offered, the NATO campaign was proportional, while the Israeli campaign is not.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 19, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

I believe the objective is to teach sovereign nations that they have an obligation to prevent their land from being used to make war on someone else. If they do not, they will share the blame as if the renegades were their own soldiers. Perhaps even Mexico will learn from this.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on July 19, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK
Israel started it!

You completely missed the point; the point was that the "They started it!" approach is rather pointless in this conflict.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 19, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

I'm curious. How does Israels actions compare with the actions of the US in bombing the infrastructure of Serbia during the Bosnia & Kosovo crises. Did the folks now objecting to Israel's actions object to that? If not, why not?
Posted by: carib

You're not real bright, are you? Troll off.

Hezbollah killed eight soldiers, kidnapped two and rained rockets all over northern Israel and you're asking why Israel is doing this? Posted by: cld

Yes, as are all thoughtful people.

There have been some 125 civilian casualties in Lebanon from Israeli strikes. Israel has also pretty much destroyed the power and communications grid in much of Lebanon, and rendered the airport and port of Beirut unusable.

By comparison, just 13 Israeli civilians have been killed by Hezbollah rockets, with no damage to Israel's infrastructure. Furthermore, the Hezbollah rocketing was in response to Israeli air attacks and artillery fire.

If the Israeli army is so fucking hot, why don't they go for an rescue/extraction of the kidnapped soldiers with special forces and necessary logistical and tactical support rather than just
destroying Lebanon's infrastructure wholesale?

Posted by: JeffII on July 19, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK
I believe the objective is to teach sovereign nations that they have an obligation to prevent their land from being used to make war on someone else.

So, the targeting of civilian Lebanese targets is just terrorism, plain and simple?

Posted by: cmdicely on July 19, 2006 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK

Yup, I completly missed the point. And I agree with you. Israel isn't taking any of these actions because of a few captured soldiers or a specific rocket attack. They just find the situation intolerable, and are acting accordingly.

Posted by: mjk on July 19, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

cld,
you got the sequence wrong. the missiles did not rain down until after Israel started to pulverize Lebanese infrastructure. whatever their faults, this time Hezbollah engaged in what under international law would be considered a military operation. Israel conducts such raids all the time. here's the report from Haaretz:
Three soldiers were killed during the initial assault, while one soldier was seriously wounded, another lightly wounded and a third suffered a shrapnel scratch. In addition, the assailants kidnapped two soldiers, whose medical condition is unknown.....
Due in part to the lessons learned from the abduction of Corporal Gilad Shalit less than three weeks earlier, a force of tanks and armored personnel carriers was immediately sent into Lebanon in hot pursuit. It was during this pursuit, at about 11:00 A.M., that the second deadly incident occurred: A Merkava tank drove over a powerful bomb, containing an estimated 200 to 300 kilograms of explosives, about 70 meters north of the border fence. The tank was almost completely destroyed, and all four crew members were killed instantly.Over the next several hours, IDF soldiers waged a fierce fight against Hezbollah gunmen as the soldiers tried to extricate the damaged tank, in order to recover the bodies and to keep Hezbollah from stealing it. During the course of this battle, at about 3:00 P.M., another soldier was killed and two were lightly wounded. As of press time last night, however, the tank had still not been extracted.

sorry to puncture your balloon.

Posted by: just the facts on July 19, 2006 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

Its not like Israel was staying on their side of the border and being peaceful before Hezbollah did that.


Just because some group says they're not evil doesn't actually mean that they aren't in fact evil.

If Hezbollah is acting to protect the interest of the Shiites populace of southern Lebanon, how is that interest served by intentionally provoking a massive military response from Israel?

These people have nothing to offer but conflict.

If some group in northern Mexico crept into the US, killed eight US citizens, kidnapped two of them and landed a hundred rockets in every town in the Southwest, and Mexico City could do nothing about it, we would be wrong to do anything as well?

Posted by: cld on July 19, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

If the Israeli army is so fucking hot, why don't they go for an rescue/extraction of the kidnapped soldiers with special forces and necessary logistical and tactical support rather than just
destroying Lebanon's infrastructure wholesale?

Can we all agree to stop calling them "kidnapped"? The capture of an armed soldier in a war zone by hostile fighters he's in combat with is not a "kidnapping." Our POWs in WWII, for example, were not "kidnapped" by the Germans and Japanese.

All those people around the globe that have been "disappeared" by US agents, though -- now they've been kidnapped, but the media never uses that term and says they were "captured."

Posted by: Stefan on July 19, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

sorry for the OT, but how'd Ralph Reed do in that primary?

LOL, eat shit "Charlie/Doug".

Posted by: haha on July 19, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

Seems to me there is enough bombing angst for both sides. I don't see any right and wrong in this whole debacle, but I see the children once more being traumatized, if not killed, while our government does nothing to end the carnage!

Once more I'm ashamed of our governments reaction to people dying!

BTW, Al is still a hoot. I wonder what a family reunion of his is like.

Posted by: Fred on July 19, 2006 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

JeffI,

Stop projecting!

The only reason Hezbollah hasn't killed more Israelis is that they are not very good at it. They would probably kill EVERY Israeli if they could, idiot.

Is your solution that Israel wait till Hezbollah gets much better at killing?

NATO killed a lot more Serbs than Serbs killed NATO soldiers. Does that make the Serbs cause more just?

Posted by: carib on July 19, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

If some group in northern Mexico crept into the US, killed eight US citizens, kidnapped two of them and landed a hundred rockets in every town in the Southwest, and Mexico City could do nothing about it, we would be wrong to do anything as well?

We'd be wrong to bomb Mexico City in response, certainly.

Posted by: Stefan on July 19, 2006 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

If some group in northern Mexico crept into the US, killed eight US citizens, kidnapped two of them....

Aaarrrghhh! They weren't kidnapped! They were captured -- the two words have very different meanings.

Posted by: Stefan on July 19, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK
Just because some group says they're not evil doesn't actually mean that they aren't in fact evil.

Correct in relation to Hezbollah, the Bush regime, the Olmert regime, and lots of other places in the world.

If Hezbollah is acting to protect the interest of the Shiites populace of southern Lebanon, how is that interest served by intentionally provoking a massive military response from Israel?

I don't think the assumption that Hezbollah intentially provoked a massive military response from Israel is necessarily justified; OTOH, as I don't believe Hezbollah is any more not-evil than Israel, in general, whether or not they intentionally provoked such a response, whether or not they did isn't particularly important to my overall view of the group.

These people have nothing to offer but conflict.

Again, true of both Hezbollah and the present government of Israel.

If some group in northern Mexico crept into the US, killed eight US citizens, kidnapped two of them and landed a hundred rockets in every town in the Southwest, and Mexico City could do nothing about it, we would be wrong to do anything as well?

Aside from the rather gigantic errors in your parallel that others have already addressed when the same errors were made in the recitation of the sequence of events in the actual case rather than a hypothetical parallel, the choice is not between "doing something: exactly what has been done" and "doing nothing".


Posted by: cmdicely on July 19, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan -- I don't think that a terrorist group like Hizbollah can take legally take a POW. They're not fighting as a part of an army on behaf of a state, after all.

Although, I'm sure those IDF boys are enjoying all the protections of the Geneva Conventions.

Posted by: mjk on July 19, 2006 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

Cmdicely,

Is your argument that its OK to bomb infrastructure if your opponent is a government, but not if its a militia that's PART of a government?

Because, frankly, I dont find that convincing.
I'm willing to hear argument, though, because I think Israel is losing political points by doing it.
But me it looks awfully like what NATO did when it was bombing Serbian infrastructure. there were civilian casaulties then too.

NATO made mistakes too. Remember the Chinese embassy in Belgrade?

Posted by: carib on July 19, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Israel occupied a 20 kilometer buffer strip, not all of Lebanon. Fudging the facts does not help your argument Kevin. I think a sweep of the Shia areas, destroying enough of the rockets and heavy weapons, would be satisfactory for the IDF's goals. I also hope Israel publishes a detailed explaination of why they hit their targets to defuse some of the knee-jerk commentary about them being disproportionate to the poor terrorists.

Posted by: minion of rove on July 19, 2006 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK
Is your argument that its OK to bomb infrastructure if your opponent is a government, but not if its a militia that's PART of a government?

No. Aside from what's acceptable (which relates to the points about proportionality, prospect of success, justification, etc.), my point is that it is only remotely sensible to attack infrastructure of your supposed enemy, not that critical to the froup you are hoping will displace your enemy and exert long-term control to prevent it from becoming a problem again once the fighting stops.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 19, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

Re the Mexicio example.

Stefan, about one thing I'm clear. The US would IMMEDIATELY invade Mexico and hit back at those guerilla forces with everything they had.

Posted by: carib on July 19, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

just the facts,

You're right, I got the sequence wrong, the rockets came first, then the kidnapping,

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2266551,00.html

Posted by: cld on July 19, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely

"as I don't believe Hezbollah is any more not-evil than Israel"


Do you really want to stand by that statement? You might want to retract it after the next WTC type incident they pull off in this country.

Posted by: minion of rove on July 19, 2006 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

Hezbollah is a recognized political party in Lebanon with representatives in the Lebanese government.


cmdicely,

Where's the error in my parallel with Mexico?

Posted by: cld on July 19, 2006 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

The proxy for the US makes sense considering the alleged provocation: the kidnapping of two soldiers. That seems less like a provocation than a pretext. Louis Renault's closing of Rick's when he discovers that the place permits gambling.

The whole incident must be seen as the Iraq war was: something to bolster Republican domestic politics. With the Iraq situation deteriorating daily, Bush is calling in chits. (Hence his George Raft impersonation in the latest open mike incident. None of those things have been accidental.)Israel, it's widely believed, always wins. So, he's having the IDF bludgeon the Palestinians in a more public, explosive fashion.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on July 19, 2006 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

Well the bombing in Beirut seems to have three objectives:

1. Killing Hezbollah leadership
2. Destroying Hezbollah assets
3. Preventing the kidnappers from leaving Lebanon (airport strikes)

Seems like a sloppy operation though. Too many innocents killed. Not sure why that isn't a problem for Israel. Thihk I'll cruise over to the Jerusalem Post to see if I can find an explanation.

Posted by: paja on July 19, 2006 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Stephen Kriz writes, Iraq invaded a neighboring country, Kuwait, in 1990 and the United States went to war against the offender, slaughtering thousands of the invader's troops. Israel invades a neighboring country, Lebanon, attacking hospitals and committing war crimes as defined at Nuremberg and the United States "urges restraint".

This is the sort of thinking that gives the progressive Left a bad name.

Israel invaded a neighboring country because that country could not or would not restrain an armed force that has been shooting at Israel. If you look carefully at that thing you seem to value, Mr. Kriz, that is, 'international law', you'll see that a country has an obligation to keep armed gangs from attacking other countries from within its borders. Countries that fail to do that may fairly be attacked.

Lebanon can't restrain Hezbollah, indeed hasn't been able to since the Israelis pulled out of Lebanon in 2000, and the Hezzies have been firing rockets into Israel. They then staged a military operation to kill and seize (not kidnap, that's what civilians do) Israeli soldiers. Under 'international law', Israel has every right to go after Hezbollah, and that's what they're doing. Their response has been reasonably proportional and they're doing their best to avoid civilian casualties (it doesn't help that the Lions of Islam have been hiding amongst the wimmin and kiddies).

So before you spout off further about 'Nuremberg', you might want to learn a thing or two.

Posted by: Steve White on July 19, 2006 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff II asks, If the Israeli army is so fucking hot, why don't they go for an rescue/extraction of the kidnapped soldiers with special forces and necessary logistical and tactical support rather than just
destroying Lebanon's infrastructure wholesale?

Because it can't be done?

Because they don't know where the soldiers are?

Because Hezbollah isn't completely incompetent and knows a thing or two about hiding the soldiers they seized (not kidnapped)?

The Israelis aren't supermen, Jeff. The captured soldiers are well tucked away by Hezbollah -- this was an operation the Hezzies planned carefully for a long time in advance. So the Israelis are doing the next best thing, which is to hammer Hezbollah hard. I'm not connected to the inner workings of the Israeli government (even though I'm a neo-con!) but it does seem as if the current goal is to weaken Hezbollah enough to render them non-threatening for a while.

As to all the whining about the Lebanese civilians dead in this operation, the Israelis are working hard to prevent that but once again, they aren't perfect, and if the Lions of Islam are hiding amongst the wimmin and kiddies, then there are going to be some civilian casualties.

By the way, the Geneva Conventions prohibit Hezbollah from hiding amongst the civilians. Just a thought.

Posted by: Steve White on July 19, 2006 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

If some group in northern Mexico crept into the US, killed eight US citizens, kidnapped two of them and landed a hundred rockets in every town in the Southwest, and Mexico City could do nothing about it, we would be wrong to do anything as well?
Posted by: cld on July 19, 2006 at 7:59 PM

Pancho Villa Punitive Expedition

Posted by: Pancho V. on July 19, 2006 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

Fred writes, I don't see any right and wrong in this whole debacle, but I see the children once more being traumatized, if not killed, while our government does nothing to end the carnage!

And just what would you have us do?

We have zero influence on Hezbollah. We have had zero influence on them for years and years. Ditto on Iran since the Carter administration. Virtually zero on Syria. We have some influence with Lebanon but they have virtually no influence on Hezbollah.

The only country with whom we have any significant influence in this fight is Israel. And the only way to do what you apparently want done is to force them to stop. That lets Hezbollah get away with firing rockets at them and seizing their soldiers. You might imagine that the Israelis won't agree to that.

So tell me: what would you have us do? I think GWB is doing the right thing here: let the dust settle and then figure out what to do.

Posted by: Steve White on July 19, 2006 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not quite sure how the bombing of Beirut figures into this, but what do I know?

Reportedly, Beirut has their headquarters (money, telecommunications center, senior leaders, gasoline stores, etc) and thousands of their rockets.

Posted by: republicrat on July 19, 2006 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

On the proxy argument: there's a proxy here, but it isn't Israel.

There are two proxies: Hamas and Hezbollah. Hezbollah is almost entirely a creation of Iran, and Hamas has, since winning power in the election, become more dependent on Iran.

Iran is in a tight spot: they need more time to develop nuclear weapons and nuclear-capable missiles. They've played the EU for about all they're going to get, and it's getting uncomfortable with the UN, IAEA, etc. They can continue to stall, bluster, threaten and troll, but at some point (end of 2006? mid-2007?) their bluff is going to be called by the UNSC.

Now you might argue that the UNSC is toothless (why, I argue that myself!), given that it couldn't enforce the Iraq resolutions, etc. But the Mad Mullahs can't be 100% sure that the crazy cowboy in the White House wouldn't come after them.

And so they use their proxies. Create a diversion, tie up the world, push the MSM headlines in a different direction, and create a new set of headaches for the US, UN and EU. Every day that works is another day the Iranian scientists and engineers make progress.

And that's at least as likely a proxy scenario as anything else conjured up here.

Posted by: Steve White on July 19, 2006 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Utter destruction is absolutely necessary because hundreds of Iranian troops are in Lebanon right now attacking Israel.

I haven't seen enough evidence of this yet to be persuaded, but the possibility can't be denied.

Posted by: republicrat on July 19, 2006 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

The only country with whom we have any significant influence in this fight is Israel.

Haha!!! That's a good one.

Posted by: bill on July 19, 2006 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see any right and wrong in this whole debacle, but I see the children once more being traumatized, if not killed, while our government does nothing to end the carnage!

Would you be less disappointed if Hezbullah used their rocket armory to pulverize Tel Aviv and Haifa?Did you think they were accumulating rockets, and storing them in civilian homes, for peaceful purposes?

Nobody likes burning children, but the government of Iran has promised to destroy Israel, has armed Hezbollah to do it, and has trained Hezbollah to operate the rockets, and Hezbollah has stored the rockets in civilian establishments.

Posted by: republicrat on July 19, 2006 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK
Do you really want to stand by that statement?

Yes, I stand by the statement that Hezbollah is no more not-evil than Israel.

You might want to retract it after the next WTC type incident they pull off in this country.

I'm not sure which "they" you are referring to, since neither Hezbollah nor Israel has pulled off a first WTC-type incident in the US so as to make your statement make any sense with either of those parties as the "they" in your sentence. Leaving that point of historical fact, the only of those parties that would force me to reconsider that statement if they did conduct a first (much less a "next") WTC-type incident in the US would be Israel, since that would suggest the statement was wrong and Hezbollah is, contrary to my statement, quite a bit more not-evil, at least toward the US, than Israel. So you must be trying to claim that Israel is inclined to commit terrorist acts against the US on the US mainland, if you are suggesting that I should rethink that statement on that basis.

At this point, the standard thing to do would be to accuse you of being an anti-Semite. Though perhaps the problem is just that you didn't read what I wrote: do you really think Hezbollah is more not-evil than Israel, as your challenging my statement suggests?

Posted by: cmdicely on July 19, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK
And just what would you have us do?

Respond to Lebanon's call for Security Council action and an international presence by backing European proposals for binding UNSC resolution calling for a mandatory cease-fire and the deployment of a stabilization force, pushing for the strongest possible mandate for such a force to disarm and/or displace Hezbollah's military wing and provide a strong buffer against incursions or attacks in either direction along the Lebanon-Israel border with authority to pursue and destroy any attackers, until the Lebanese military is prepared to provide security in that region, and the necessary mutual trust can be built between Lebanon and Israel to transition the international presence back to a monitoring role and eventually terminate it altogether.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 19, 2006 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

carib writes:

I'm curious. How does Israels actions compare with the actions of the US in bombing the infrastructure of Serbia during the Bosnia & Kosovo crises

They're different. The government of Serbia was directly responsible for the ongoing massacre of thousands of Muslims civilians. The fact that you even bring up the comparison shows you have little grasp of the real issues here.

Posted by: Andy on July 19, 2006 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

You might want to retract it after the next WTC type incident they pull off in this country.

Did Hezbollah pull off a WTC incident in this country and I just plum missed it?

Posted by: Gregory on July 19, 2006 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

Steve White:

Oh, I understand Israel's history quite well, thank you. Penning the Palestinians up like animals, stealing or blocking their access to scarce fresh water, bulldozing their dwellings and generally depriving them of the basic human dignity all human beings deserve. Osama bin Laden understands this too. That is why he hates Israel, and due to our unwavering support of Israel and their state-sponsored terrorism, he hates us too. It's really very simple. As Moshe Dayan famously said of the Palestinians, "They can live like dogs, or they can leave." Not a prescription for a lasting peace, in my opinion.
But thanks anyway for the offer.

Peace is the only anwer.

Stephen Kriz

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on July 19, 2006 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

Other things aside, Kevin you seemed to have missed the point that the 1982 invasion created Hizballah. Hizballah didn't exist before then.

Posted by: Jeff on July 19, 2006 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK
Ok, drop another bomb on another rocket. See if THAT rocket will kill any jews. No? Dammit! mjk 7:42 PM
Where are the rockets? [photo warning: images of dead people]
Hezbollah killed eight soldiers, kidnapped two and rained rockets all over northern Israel and you're asking why Israel is doing this?cld 7:37 PM
Compare the number of Palestinians killed Israel could easily do a prisoner swap, but killing Lebanonese and their children is more satisfying.
Yeah, perhaps they did. They'll finish it too. mjk 7:46 PM
They've been killing Palestinians for over 80 years, and the people are still resisting Israeli terrorism
at they have an obligation to prevent their land from being used to make war on someone else. Perhaps even Mexico will learn from this.Walter E. Wallis 7:49 PM
Hezbollah war born as a resistance movement when Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 and killed over 20,000 Lebanonese, many by outright atrocities. Every time you look to the history of the region, you find Israeli actions leading to reactions.
Just because some group says they're not evil doesn't actually mean that they aren't in fact evil.cld 7:59 PM
You are referring to neo-cons, George W. Bush and Israel.
NATO killed a lot more Serbs than Serbs killed NATO soldiers. Does that make the Serbs cause more just? carib 8:01 PM
Serbs were ethnically cleansing people in Kosova, remember? Israel has ethnically cleansed Palestinians from Palestine. See where the similarity lies?
As to all the whining about the Lebanese civilians dead in this operation, the Israelis are working hard to prevent that but once againSteve White 8:50 PM
Civilians including children have long been targets for the IDF.
So tell me: what would you have us do? I think GWB is doing the right thing here Steve White 8:57 PM |
George W. Bush is working hard to increase terrorism in the region by his total backing of attacks on innocent civilians. For every one killed, 10 will join America's enemies. What to do? It's simple: a prisoner swap. Israel has thousands of Lebanonese and Palestinian illegally imprisoned. Set them free, force Israel to make peace instead of stealing more of the occupied territories.
Nobody likes burning children, but the government of Iran has promised to destroy Israel, has armed Hezbollah to do it, and has trained Hezbollah to operate the rockets, and Hezbollah has stored the rockets in civilian establishments.republicrat 9:21 PM |
You have no idea where Hezbollah stores its rockets (hint, where they fire them, in the desert). Israel has bombed Lebanon military installation, hospitals, and numerous other clearly civilian sites. Also, you statement on the statement of the government of is inaccurate. The Iranians have always stated they will not strike first, but, if attacked, will defend themselves by any means available. Posted by: Mike on July 19, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely writes, Respond to Lebanon's call for Security Council action and an international presence by backing European proposals for binding UNSC resolution calling for a mandatory cease-fire and the deployment of a stabilization force, ...

And who exactly is going to make up this 'stabilization force'? We already had one of those in southern Lebanon, it was called UNIFIL. Worked well, huh? It was 2,000 soldiers who basically drank tea and watched Hezbollah do what they wanted. Why would you think that a new force is going to be any different than the old force?

And who's going to provide the soldiers for the 'stabilization force'? I'll send you a dollar if a single French, German or Spanish soldier ends up in it.

... pushing for the strongest possible mandate for such a force to disarm and/or displace Hezbollah's military wing ...

Right, that's the 'stabilization force' again.

Sorry, but the UN doesn't have a very good record in this regard. UN peacekeepers can work when everyone involved wants peace. But when at least one side wants to fight the UN is pretty much powerless to stop that.

Hezbollah has already said that they won't disarm, ever, so the only way you're going to accomplish that is to take their guns from their cold, dead hands. You really think a UN 'stabilization force' is going to do that?

... and provide a strong buffer against incursions or attacks in either direction along the Lebanon-Israel border with authority to pursue and destroy any attackers, ...

We had one of those. UNIFIL. Didn't work. Why would you expect version 2 to work?

... until the Lebanese military is prepared to provide security in that region, and the necessary mutual trust can be built between Lebanon and Israel to transition the international presence back to a monitoring role and eventually terminate it altogether.

I don't doubt the Lebanese would like just that. From what I read, a good number of the Lebanese pretty much hate Hezbollah and want them gone. Problem is, the Lebanese who like Hezbollah are the Shi'a, and they're around 40% of the population. And they're concentrated in the south. You'd have to persuade the Shi'a Lebanese to give in and rat out Hezbollah, and I see no indication whatsoever that they're willing to do that.

I appreciate your intent, but a UN sponsored 'stabilization force' is a dead-bang loser from day one.

Posted by: Steve White on July 19, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

I appreciate your intent, but a UN sponsored 'stabilization force' is a dead-bang loser from day one.
Posted by: Steve White

plus, you don't get the added benefit of killing arab civilians ... something of which I can only assume you tacitly (if not actively) approve.

Posted by: Nads on July 19, 2006 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely, there's already a U.N. force in southern Lebanon. They're no more use than U.N. forces anywhere else. Mostly, they like to watch.

Posted by: kofi on July 19, 2006 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

Nads: plus, you don't get the added benefit of killing arab civilians ... something of which I can only assume you tacitly (if not actively) approve.

Nope, nice try at a smear but you're wrong. I don't approve of killing civilians. I do understand that war is hell and that sometimes civilians get killed. The Israelis seem to be trying to avoid this, but it's hard when the Hezzies hide the bunkers and rocket launchers smack dab in the middle of the civilians. I blame the Hezzies for that.

Posted by: Steve White on July 19, 2006 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

Nope, nice try at a smear but you're wrong. I don't approve of killing civilians. I do understand that war is hell and that sometimes civilians get killed. The Israelis seem to be trying to avoid this, but it's hard when the Hezzies hide the bunkers and rocket launchers smack dab in the middle of the civilians. I blame the Hezzies for that.
Posted by: Steve White

nice try at being an apologist ... you missed your calling. You would clearly feel more comfortable 60 years earlier defending nazi atrocities.

Posted by: Nads on July 19, 2006 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK
And who exactly is going to make up this 'stabilization force'?

Many EU nations have already offered troops, Russia apparently is considering doing so, as well.

We already had one of those in southern Lebanon, it was called UNIFIL.

No, UNIFIL was (and is; UNIFIL is still in Lebanon, and its current mandate expires at the end of this month) not a stabilization force. It is a peacekeeping/monitoring force with no mandate for action, only to monitor and report. The current calls from the EU, Lebanon, and others are for a presence with a mandate that allows it to act as a stabilization, rather than peacekeeping force.

Worked well, huh? It was 2,000 soldiers who basically drank tea and watched Hezbollah do what they wanted. Why would you think that a new force is going to be any different than the old force?

Well, because (1) it would be larger, and (2) it would actually have a mandate to do something, rather than one that prevents it from doing anything but reporting violations.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 19, 2006 at 11:02 PM | PERMALINK

... and for someone who doesn't approve of killing civilians, you sure are adept at making excuses for doing just that.

perhaps the assumption that right wingers are all closet racists willing to excuse any atrocity committed by either us or israel against the foreign "other" is accurate, after all.

Posted by: Nads on July 19, 2006 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

Respond to Lebanon's call for Security Council action and an international presence by backing European proposals for binding UNSC resolution calling for a mandatory cease-fire and the deployment of a stabilization force,

Nice sentiment but you have to know this is impossible for several reasons. The UN is not capable of, nor does it have the desire for, providing a stabilization force with the offensive capabilities needed to provide any semblence of stability. Further, the next least likely group to provide such a force would be the EU. They have neither the will nor the means. The Iranians would just love to smack them right back to Europe.

The last thing the Iranians or Syrians would accept is a disarmed Hezbollah in Lebanon. They want Lebanon radicalized and under their control. They can easily stop UN progress with a well placed bribe to Russia or China and/or one of the rotating members for the SC.

The gist of Kevis post is quite right. Israel is not going to re-occupy Southern Lebanon on the gound. It plays to Hezbollah's tactical advantages as well as political advantages. This is an honest attempt to seriously degrade Hezbollahs offensive capabilities, get their men back, and continue to change te political environment.

This episode has been striking in many regards. Bush has peeled off Merkel who's taken a decidedly different position from the French. The EU is hardly united. Most of the condemnation is been unethusiastic boilerplate and many of the usual Israel bashers have been silent. We see a split in the middle east with the Arab states very unhappy with the roll of Iran and not supporting Hezbollah.

As several conservatives have pointed out. This is not the classic Israeli-Arab conflict. This is Jewish-Islamic. This is GWOT.

There's no role here for the UN. They'll issue the usual statement abliet much toned down toward Israel and more critical of terrorists than is usual. There's no role here for the UN. Israel doe not view them as an honest broker and neither side considers their military capabilities credible. The Jews know if at anytime Hezbollah decided they wanted the EU to leave, which would happen the same day the EU started doing it's job, if it ever did, the terrorists would kill a small number of their men and they would fold up. The shame of it is Hezbollah might do it just for sport. To see how quickly they get the EU to fold.

Jacques made a nice suggestion he knew would never be acted upon. He knows Israel would wrap this up long before any serious debate was held. It's just a cheap political trick.

Posted by: rdw on July 19, 2006 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK


If some group in northern Mexico crept into the US, killed eight US citizens, kidnapped two of them and landed a hundred rockets in every town in the Southwest, and Mexico City could do nothing about it, we would be wrong to do anything as well?

If the Government of Northern Mexico conquered much of the US south for 20 years, killed lots of people and finally withdrew, taking lots of US captives, occasionally bombing us, would the US be justified in taking 2 armed Mexican soldiers as POWs ?

I detest the way in which people say "because the US would not tolerate situation X, Israel should not either". THe fact is that the US has always had different rules for itself and the rest of thw world.

Posted by: Jont on July 19, 2006 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

If a nation allows terrorists to openly wage war on their neighbor, then that nation must be treated as an enemy. If nations like Syria and Lebanon learn that lesson, it will be a better world.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on July 19, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

The Serbia example is so far from the present situation. It was one successful, if late, intervention to bring a halt to murderous ethnic cleansing. Negotiation was attempted and clear warning given, severally, and ignored.

Here the real killing started after Israel began strikes.

As ro Walter E; Wallis:
In Erin, there had been low-level terrorism going on for years. In the 60s, it accellerated and the UK put troops on the street in Northern Ireland. The IRA were clearly getting support within their own minority community -- and hid among them -- and from across the border. They were represented in the Irish government by Sinn Fein. The Irish government, at this time, did nothing to prevent cross-border attacks or arms smuggling. There were attacks carried out by the IRA on the British mainland that callously killed innocent civilians. The IRA received funding and help from people in Northern Ireland, Eire, and the USA.

Now plot the UK reaction, treatment of the problem etc. -- not all anything like complimentary -- and Israel, 1968 to present.

I'm not directly comparing the two. Survival of the UK was never under threat. But the UK route was not escalatory. And, mostly, were careful not to use disproportionate force or punish a wider community. It's not all done yet but I'd say they're moving in the right direction. The IRA has become neutered as the catholic population found them a hinderance rather than help.

In the Middle East there are factions on both sides of this problem who do not seek a resolution. The present actions suit them.

Over the same time period, the Middle East has become more and more complicated, and more and more enflamed. I can't say you can blame one side more than the other, but we know where the root is.

Israel has the strength and power in the region, plus the backing and guarantee of survival from the USA. If they wanted peace they could adopt the strategy to get there.

From where I sit, it is very clear they do not.

Posted by: notthere on July 19, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK


By the way, the Geneva Conventions prohibit Hezbollah from hiding amongst the civilians. Just a thought.

it also prohibits Israel from attacking civilian targets, and they've done that.

The fact of that matter is that any armed force will choose the form of fighting that suits it. Hezbollah would be slaughtered in open combat against Israelis, so they fight this classic guerilla war mode. But Israels, when they fight Hezbollah, do not send their soldiers into battle mano-a-mano, equally armed as pure ground units. No, they use their advantages, such as sophisticated planes and missiles as much as possible. Israel is within its right to do that, but please spare me the moral high ground for Israel --- each side is fighting the way that gives it an advantage.

When Hagannah and the Irgun were fighting the British in the late 1940s, they did not take on the British mano-a-mano, but did hide in the civilian population as well.

Posted by: Jont on July 19, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever the morality of this war, Israel will eventually negotiate with Hezbollah - probably to arrange a prisoner exchange.

They don't have any other choice, frankly, because they are not going to be able to beat Hezbollah militarily. That much is obvious.

So why prolong the killing?

Posted by: floopmeister on July 19, 2006 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Well, because (1) it would be larger, and (2) it would actually have a mandate to do something, rather than one that prevents it from doing anything but reporting violations.

Do you have an example of an EU led force and/or Russia doing any of this? The EU was helpless in Kosovo and that's part of Europe. Why would Israel trust the EU? These are the peope who to this day consider Sharon a war criminal who should have been in jail rather than Prime Minister AND STILL see Arafat as the Nobel Peace prize winner.

Even allowing for coalition members like the UK, Italy, Germany, Canada, Denmark, Poland, etc. already serving in Iraq or Afghanistan showing some offensive capabilities you can't expect them to fight on TWO fronts can you? That leaves Ireland, France, Spain and Sweden. That'll put the dear of Allah into Hezbollah.

When Chirac suggested it the only logical conclusion of his purpose was to provide material for Leno.

The Jews would trust the Saudi's before they'd trust Jacques Chirac.

Posted by: rdw on July 19, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y188/kafaraqgatri/IM001565.jpg


this is a picture i took at an israeli army outpost in the golan hieghts overlooking Lebanon...

the yellow flag seen flying in the forground is the flag of Hezbollah.

It is from places like this that Hezbollah has been fireing thier rockets

Posted by: yonatan bryant on July 19, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

I hope Israel demolishes Hezbollah.

Posted by: Down goes Frazier on July 19, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK


I believe the objective is to teach sovereign nations that they have an obligation to prevent their land from being used to make war on someone else. If they do not, they will share the blame as if the renegades were their own soldiers.

Does this mean then that Cuba would be justified in attacking the US ? Or the Soviets would be justified in attacking the US in the afghanistan days ? Or Nicaragua ? Or England would be justified in attacking the US for its occasional support for the IRA ? Or India because of the US's allowing camps that trained Sikh militants in the 1980s (2 of whom blew up an Indian passenger jet).

And I see that the US is forbidding Turkey from taking action against Kurd rebels (who killed a dozen Turkish soldiers and civilians) in Northern Iraq ? Hypocrisy of the highest order.

Posted by: erg on July 19, 2006 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

The way I see it - this either escalates into a full blown war, or there is a negotiated settlement. A morally murky, unsatisfying to all sides and probably bitterly resented settlement, to be sure.

But there will be a settlement between Israel and Hezbollah. Both sides don't really have any choice.

Except an escalating war that neither will win, of course.

Posted by: floopmeister on July 19, 2006 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK


These are the peope who to this day consider Sharon a war criminal who should have been in jail rather than Prime Ministe

And there are actually some in Europe who considered the late Begin a terrorist because he blew up the King George Hotel in Jerusalem, killing lots of Brits. Disgraceful.

Posted by: erg on July 19, 2006 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and Frazier? Wish all you want, boyo.

Posted by: floopmeister on July 19, 2006 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

Which side has the nukes, floopmeister?

Posted by: Thomas on July 19, 2006 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

What have nukes got to do with this?

Posted by: floopmeister on July 19, 2006 at 11:33 PM | PERMALINK

I heard a report on the CBS news that Hezbollah has denied Nasrallah's death. I thought perhaps that was a reason Israel chose to escalate its blitzkrieg of Lebanon: assassination of Hezbollah leadership. It's a kristallnact fortnight of death.

Posted by: Hostile on July 19, 2006 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

but please spare me the moral high ground for Israel --

Israel clearly has the moral high ground. Your moral relativism is so silly it's laughable. Hazbollah aims for civilians. Israel tries to avoid them.

Israel protects it's citizens but moving them to bomb shelters. Hezbollah needs civilain casualties to play this silly game so they block their citizens from going to safety.

Your act is old and had been disabused long ago. This is why neither the UN nor the EU have been serious factors in middle east negotiations for decades and will not be factors this day. It is also why liberals are not taken seriously on security issues within the USA. It is nice to see Merkel split with Chirac confirming a recent pattern. Perhaps Germany will become more like the UK and Poland and Italy.

Posted by: rdw on July 19, 2006 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

Which side has the nukes

Oh, fuck off Cheney, you idiot.

Posted by: on July 19, 2006 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

It's a kristallnact fortnight of death.

Hardly, It's a continuation of sharons successful policies for ending the infatada. The donkeys don't count. It's the people telling the donkeys what to do. Look at all that blather from Osama about dying for Allah. It's pure PR for the masses too stupid to know better. The man has no intention of dying for allah. Quite the opposite. Same with these clowns running Hezbollah. They reach celeb status and the chance to make millions, if not billions like Arafat, and they're going to give that up?

That's why hezbollah is trying to force average citizens to stay in their homes in Southern Lebanon while they're hidden in bunkers. They want a high death count so you can play your braindead moral equivalency game but they have no intention of being part of that count.

If Israel can take a couple/few out you'll see a change in their ways.

Posted by: rdw on July 19, 2006 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

This is classic 4th generation warfare - hell, the Israelis wrote the damn book on it. You'd think they'd understand this. They, frankly, seem to have underestimated Hezbollah and are currently freaking out about it. They need to come to their senses and back off.

Hezbollah's weakness is part of it's strength - precisely because it is not a state, it can't be defeated like one. It has no capital to capture, and it doesn't need to follow the same rules of war as the Israelis. Let's face it - if it did it would lose.

So it fights intelligently - like a guerilla movement. It hides amongst the population. It has the support of that population. And it scores propaganda victories like taking out Israeli tanks, ships(!) and planes. Who cares how many rocket sites Israel destroys? All the supporters of Hezbollah will remember are that burning ship.

Forget the issues of morality. The moral high ground won't stop the rockets falling on Israel.

Where are the realists on the Israeli side - the experienced generals who understand that this is not the Somme, or the Battle of the Bulge? This is a nasty and immoral guerilla war, and bleating about the nasty way the militia is fighting won't bring 'victory' any closer.

The longer this continues the more damage will be done before Israel, inevitably, seeks a settlement with Hezbollah.

Hezbollah ain't going anywhere - everyone needs to realise that and work intelligently to come to the best settlement that recognises it. Fantasies of 'destroying Hezbollah' are exactly that.

Posted by: floopmeister on July 19, 2006 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: Well, because (1) it would be larger, and (2) it would actually have a mandate to do something, rather than one that prevents it from doing anything but reporting violations.

8,000 tea drinkers instead of 2,000? I don't see the difference, except the need to order more tea.

As to UNIFIL, the point was that reporting the violations would lead to the violations ceasing. We know how well that worked.

Do you honestly think that a new force, even leavened with EU troops, would take on the hard work to stop violations? That would mean, at some point, a credible use of force. Not just a show, not just a warning, but actual use of force.

I honestly don't see Russian, German, French or Spanish troops doing that. Shoot at Hezbollah and take casualties? How long would it take for 'peace movements' in Europe to declare a 'quagmire' and demand the troops be brought home from southern Lebanon?

Besides that, there's a bigger issue stopping Euro participation in a beefy UN force in southern Lebanon: logistics. Most of the European armies don't have the ability to support a substantial (e.g., brigade size or larger, brigade ~ 5,000 troops) outside their own borders. They don't have the logistical and transport ability. The Brits do but the Brits are busy. The French do not, and the rest of the Euro armies depend on either commercial hires or the U.S. to get their forces elsewhere (e.g., Afghanistan).

A third problem: the Euro troops in southern Lebanon would acquire a new nickname, to be pronounced in Arabic: 'targets'. If you ran Hezbollah at the bidding of Iran, wholly dependent on Iran and Syria for your existence, you'd find a way to start killing Euro troops. Bonus points if you can blame the evil Zionists. Think Nasrallah would try that? I do.

Add it up, dicely: the Euro participation would be 1) unpopular at home 2) expensive to support and 3) dangerous. I don't see it happening.

Posted by: Steve White on July 19, 2006 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

Israel clearly has the moral high ground. Your moral relativism is so silly it's laughable. Hazbollah aims for civilians. Israel tries to avoid them.

Israel should maybe try a little harder....

After seven days, 13 Israelis and about 230 Lebanese civilians had been killed in the war between Israel and Hezbollah.

Close to 700 injured Lebanese and half a million displaced from their homes. Shortages of food and water, medicines, intentional power outages, with people trapped in the country due to the bombed out bridges and airports.

Yep, it is silly to even try and compare this to two captured soldiers.

Posted by: Windhorse on July 19, 2006 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

If Israel can take a couple/few out you'll see a change in their ways.

Yep, once again missing the point entirely.

The Iraq insurgency; the IRA; the Tamil Tigers; the VC; they never change their ways, rdw. The more you kill, the more their resolve is strengthened.

Guerilla movements can lose every single damn battle they fight and still win the war in the end.

That's why guerillas fight that way.

I'm sorry if it doesn't match the cowboy movie playing in your head.

Posted by: floopmeister on July 19, 2006 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

RANDOM MURDERS

Associated Press reports:


Hezbollah rockets made their first hit near Christian holy sites in Israel: Two rockets hit Nazareth - the biblical hometown of Jesus - killing two brothers ages 3 and 9 as they played outside, bringing the Israeli death toll to 29.

In fact, it now seems that the young victims were Arabsalways a likely outcome considering Nazareths large Arabic population. Hezbollahs precision aiming skills have somehow deserted them.

Posted by: rdw on July 19, 2006 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

Guerilla movements can lose every single damn battle they fight and still win the war in the end.

You'd think we'd have learned that lesson after our own humiliating defeat in Vietnam.

Posted by: Stefan on July 19, 2006 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

Israel should maybe try a little harder....

Maybe the EU should have gotten religion about Hezbollah when they issued a resolution calling for them to be disarmed.

Their calls now are a bit silly now don't you think? AS for the UN they've been himilaited enough. It's hard to beleive their poll numbers in the US can go any lower but they probably will.

Jacques Chirac calling for a serious force in Lebanon is no more serious than Jerry Lewis calling for a serious force.

The lebanese death toll is high because Hezbollah usese innocents as human shields and refuses to let them leave firezones. The Israeli's on the other hand evacuates their population.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Hostile:

I was watching Brian Williams. When he finally got to the stem cell bill, he said:

"Now we turn to politics and science, and President Bush's first ever veto while in office. It happened today. The President said no to what the House and Senate had passed."

Are the American public THAT dumb?! First thing I thought was Schoolhouse Rock:

I'm just a bill
Yes, I'm only a bill
And if they vote for me on Capitol Hill
Well, then I'm off to the White House
Where I'll wait in a line
With a lot of other bills
For the president to sign
And if he signs me, then I'll be a law.
How I hope and pray that he will,
But today I am still just a bill.

Boy: You mean even if the Whole Congress says you should be a law, the president can still say no?

Bill: Yes, that's called a veto. If the president vetoes me, I have to go back to Congress and they vote on me again, and by that time you're so old...

Boy: By that time it's very unlikely that you'll become a law. It's not easy to become a law, is it?

Bill: No!

http://www.school-house-rock.com/Bill.html

Posted by: Thomas on July 20, 2006 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

William Kristol has claimed the people of Iran would embrace "The right use of targeted military Force"! You don't know whether to laugh or cry!

Posted by: R.L. on July 20, 2006 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

You'd think we'd have learned that lesson after our own humiliating defeat in Vietnam.

The lesson in Vietnam and confirmed here is the USA can fight and win querrilla wars militarily. The only question is the political will. Sharon crushed the insurgency and won. This 'war' has zero to do with Israel and Palestine. This is Jew versus Muslim. This is radical Islam. This is GWOT.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK

You'd think we'd have learned that lesson after our own humiliating defeat in Vietnam.

America might not have learnt that lesson, but it appears others have - 'Vietnam Street' is apparently a popular piece of grafitti in Sadr City in Baghdad. The Mahdi Army got whipped the last two times it fought the US Army, yet I'm willing to bet it will still be there when the US has withdrawn.

Doesn't matter how many years that will take - they aren't going anywhere.

Posted by: floopmeister on July 20, 2006 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe the EU should have gotten religion about Hezbollah when they issued a resolution calling for them to be disarmed.

More to the point, maybe Israel should exercise restraint right now and quit killing and injuring Lebanese who have no control over Hezbollah.

Posted by: Windhorse on July 20, 2006 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

Sharon crushed the insurgency and won.

So the Isarelis are fighting their own shadows in Gaza?

This 'war' has zero to do with Israel and Palestine. This is Jew versus Muslim. This is radical Islam. This is GWOT.

This is High Noon at the OK Corral!

BTW, is it just me or does GWOT sound like a DVD from the WWF?

Posted by: floopmeister on July 20, 2006 at 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

The Mahdi Army got whipped the last two times it fought the US Army, yet I'm willing to bet it will still be there when the US has withdrawn.

That might be. But we are withdrawing and the elected government will have a military force more powerful than Sadr they can use to kill him if necessary. It seems Sadr is good at killing sunni insurgents. He's giving them a reason to end their insurgency once the recognize they'll run out of people 1st. It will be up to Maliki to decide when he can bring these two groups together in peace or just kill them both.

What you say covers Southern Afghanistan. The MSM is filled with stories the Taliban and Al Qaeda are resurgent in the region. They are also getting the crap kicked out of them in extremely valuable training exercies for the NATO members helping out and the emerging Afghan military. Eventually this rapidly growing country of 29M will be able to defend itself.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

"WWF"?

Posted by: Thomas on July 20, 2006 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

The lesson in Vietnam and confirmed here is the USA can fight and win querrilla wars militarily.

This pathetic denial of reality reminds me of something....ah yes, a conversation in "A Fish Called Wanda" between British barrister Archie (John Cleese) and lunatic wingnut Otto (Kevin Kline):

Otto: You know your problem? You don't like winners.

Archie: Winners?

Otto: Yeah. Winners.

Archie: Winners, like North Vietnam?

Otto: Shut up. We didn't lose Vietnam. It was a tie.

Archie: [going into a cowboy-like drawl] I'm tellin' ya baby, they kicked your little ass there. Boy, they whooped yer hide REAL GOOD.

Posted by: Stefan on July 20, 2006 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, is it just me or does GWOT sound like a DVD from the WWF?

It does to liberals. It's very effective politics for the GOP as we saw in 2002 and 2004. As long as the GWOT in on our minds we'll leave the adults in charge. Consider how out to lunch the libs are on this. Shallow soundbites to 'get involved'. Their pronouncements are as empty as their little heads.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

In this way, Hezbollah may be reduced to a guerrilla army again

Being "reduced to a guerriilla army" may not be such a bad thing for Hezbollah ( viewed from its self-interest. ) As, for example, current experience in Iraq demonstrates, guerrilla armies can be quite effective.

For a more detailed outline of this viewpoint, vist John Robb's Global Guerrillas blog.

Posted by: Thinker on July 20, 2006 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

That might be. But we are withdrawing and the elected government will have a military force more powerful than Sadr they can use to kill him if necessary. It seems Sadr is good at killing sunni insurgents. He's giving them a reason to end their insurgency once the recognize they'll run out of people 1st. It will be up to Maliki to decide when he can bring these two groups together in peace or just kill them both.

Yep, just kill Sadr personally and the whole thing's over. Dead or Alive! String him up and the varmints will just slink away...

It appears you haven't read much about martyrdom in the Shiite tradition, rdw.

Wanna bet Maliki is anything more important than a Basra neighbourhood dog catcher when the US withdraws?

The MSM is filled with stories the Taliban and Al Qaeda are resurgent in the region. They are also getting the crap kicked out of them in extremely valuable training exercies for the NATO members helping out and the emerging Afghan military.

Yep, the Taliban is getting whipped every time they stand up and fight. Funny thing is - they're still there and the attacks keep on coming, don't they...

I'll bet there were Russians in the 80's who had exactly the same attitude as you towards the Afghans.

BTW, how many members of the Afghan army do you think were once in the Taliban, anyway? You know, guys who, once the reginme fell, shaved off their beards and signed up for the new army. I wonder how many might start doing the reverse, now?

Posted by: floopmeister on July 20, 2006 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

We didn't lose Vietnam. It was a tie.

We didn't lose militarily and it wan't close to a lie. We kicked ass. Walter Chronkite bailed out the N.V. leadership and we have their testimony to prove it.

The amazing thing now is that was a conscript army. We now have a 100% professional force with amazing technology. The Russians were beating after a decade in Afghanistan with 50,000 troops. We defeated the taliban and Al Qaeda in 3 weeks with about 500 men.

Even today if they travel in groups of 20 or more and we see them we can usually kill them quickly with little or no risk.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 12:27 AM | PERMALINK

HNT: ChickenHawk X-Ray

Posted by: elmo on July 20, 2006 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

Yep, the Taliban is getting whipped every time they stand up and fight. Funny thing is - they're still there and the attacks keep on coming, don't they...

And keep on dying, don't they... isn't the the idea, we fight them there rather than here!


I'll bet there were Russians in the 80's who had exactly the same attitude as you towards the Afghans.

You mean towards the taliban? We're not killing the afghans. We're building their army so they can kill the taliban.

BTW, how many members of the Afghan army do you think were once in the Taliban, anyway? You know, guys who, once the reginme fell, shaved off their beards and signed up for the new army. I wonder how many might start doing the reverse, now?


Not many. The guys who were serious taliban are mostly dead or hiding with Osama and Omar in caves in Pakistan. No doubt a few have infiltrated the Afghna army but not a significant number

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

Flopmeister: This is classic 4th generation warfare

Agreed.

Another way of putting it is that, in this situation, Hezbollah is Bre'er Rabbit, and Israel - Bre'er Wolf in this story - has just thrown Hezbollah onto the briar patch.

Posted by: Thinker on July 20, 2006 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

...We didn't lose militarily and it wan't close to a lie. We kicked ass. Walter Chronkite bailed out the N.V. leadership and we have their testimony to prove it... We now have a 100% professional force with amazing technology... We defeated the taliban and Al Qaeda in 3 weeks with about 500 men.

Well, right about now I realise I've been debating with a pimply 16 years old who still thinks 'Sgt Slaughter' is for real, so I'm going to leave it here.

Eventually sanity will prevail, although rdw will probably throw a hissy fit when it does.

Posted by: floopmeister on July 20, 2006 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

It appears you haven't read much about martyrdom in the Shiite tradition, rdw.

Sadr, like Osama, Omar, Saddam, Arafat etc. has absolutely no intention of becoming a martyr. That's what his militia is for.


Wanna bet Maliki is anything more important than a Basra neighbourhood dog catcher when the US withdraws?

We'll see soon enough. Maliki has the same self-preservation instincts as everyone else in govt. They can't survive if Sadr is alive and armed. He won't disarm. He will be killed by the Iraqi army.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:

I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 810, the "Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005."

Like all Americans, I believe our Nation must vigorously pursue the tremendous possibilities that science offers to cure disease and improve the lives of millions. Yet, as science brings us ever closer to unlocking the secrets of human biology, it also offers temptations to manipulate human life and violate human dignity. Our conscience and history as a Nation demand that we resist this temptation. With the right scientific techniques and the right policies, we can achieve scientific progress while living up to our ethical responsibilities.

In 2001, I set forth a new policy on stem cell research that struck a balance between the needs of science and the demands of conscience. When I took office, there was no Federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research. Under the policy I announced 5 years ago, my Administration became the first to make Federal funds available for this research, but only on embryonic stem cell lines derived from embryos that had already been destroyed. My Administration has made available more than $90 million for research of these lines. This policy has allowed important research to go forward and has allowed America to continue to lead the world in embryonic stem cell research without encouraging the further destruction of living human embryos.

H.R. 810 would overturn my Administration's balanced policy on embryonic stem cell research. If this bill were to become law, American taxpayers for the first time in our history would be compelled to fund the deliberate destruction of human embryos. Crossing this line would be a grave mistake and would needlessly encourage a conflict between science and ethics that can only do damage to both and harm our Nation as a whole.

Advances in research show that stem cell science can progress in an ethical way. Since I announced my policy in 2001, my Administration has expanded funding of research into stem cells that can be drawn from children, adults, and the blood in umbilical cords with no harm to the donor, and these stem cells are currently being used in medical treatments. Science also offers the hope that we may one day enjoy the potential benefits of embryonic stem cells without destroying human life. Researchers are investigating new techniques that might allow doctors and scientists to produce stem cells just as versatile as those derived from human embryos without harming life. We must continue to explore these hopeful alternatives, so we can advance the cause of scientific research while staying true to the ideals of a decent and humane society.

I hold to the principle that we can harness the promise of technology without becoming slaves to technology and ensure that science serves the cause of humanity. If we are to find the right ways to advance ethical medical research, we must also be willing when necessary to reject the wrong ways. For that reason, I must veto this bill.

GEORGE W. BUSH

THE WHITE HOUSE,

July 19, 2006.

Posted by: Thomas on July 20, 2006 at 12:39 AM | PERMALINK

What a stupid fucking premise. I just watched an hour of Anderson Cooper interviewing Lebonese.

Lebonese Christians are dying, not Hezbollah.

Lebonese children are dying, not Hezbollah.

And the neocons think the Lebonese are turning on their own?

They most certainly are NOT>

Israel and the US are creating a new generation of haters.

And collective punishment should and does cut both ways. BY Israeli standards, AMericans re elected the evil Bush, so we are targets.

If that's true, what's all the griping about 9/11???

WE are responsible for the acts of Bush,,, by Israels stated standards for culpability.

Posted by: Charles on July 20, 2006 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

rdw will probably throw a hissy fit when it does.

Why, my guys are calling the shots!

You've got Al Gore promoting his 'hit movie' on GW. Only libs could ever consider that simple ass an intellectual (his marks were lower than both Kerry and GWBs at Yale and he never went past Yale). Let's leave aside the fact GW has never made it into the top 12 on voter preference of importance and consider the fact GWB trashed your belover Kyoto, laughed at you, and you couldn't do jack about it. Then there's John Kerry doing his duck hit in the head imitation. You've got it happening.

The adults are in charge. Israel has carte blanche. When they signal they're done GWB will signal for some kind of cease fire and tell Jacques to shut his piehole.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

Cheney/Thomas/Charlie/Sybil, quit spamming the thread with off-topic crap. Isn't it enough that your boyfriend Ralph Reed was served a humiliating defeat after you boasted how he'd win that you have to act out again and make an even worse fool of yourself?

Gonna start running around in your underwear next to try and get our attention?

Posted by: on July 20, 2006 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

...Israel clearly has the moral highground...Hazbollah aims for civilians. Israel tries to avoid them....

Posted by: rdw on July 19, 2006 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

Then one has to say the Israelis are doing a really poor job.

It's impossible to put either on moral high-ground. And this is another example of the US giving up the same.

rdw, you live in a parallel universe. History, evidence and fact have no holding. Delusional rant replaces considered policy. Just convinces me that the "bunker mentality" is alive and well; and there are so many of you. You couldn't all be wrong, could you? I think it's because the oxygen is running low in there.

Unfortunately, that's how the WH works, too. And they're sucking like a fish on dry land.

Posted by: notthere on July 20, 2006 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

No, but I never boasted Reed would win either. As for floopmeister's question, I missed that as I was catching up on other news besides the Middle East. You said at 11:31 PM :

"The way I see it - this either escalates into a full blown war, or there is a negotiated settlement. A morally murky, unsatisfying to all sides and probably bitterly resented settlement, to be sure.

But there will be a settlement between Israel and Hezbollah. Both sides don't really have any choice.

Except an escalating war that neither will win, of course."

THAT's why I asked if you knew which side had the nukes.

Posted by: Thomas on July 20, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

I just watched an hour of Anderson Cooper interviewing Lebonese

There's your mistake. You are watching Anderson Cooper. Chances are CNN paid for access by agreeing to the tone of the coverage. They have a history in this regard.

You really need to watch Fox.

A number of pundits have pointed out that conservatives get their news from Fox and talk radio and the blogs while liberals get their's from the MSM. Thus we have different realities. You still think Kerry was in Cambodia on Xmas and Rathers papers were authentic.

The shame of it for you is you lost the last 3 elections and the networks have lost 20% of their audience since then and the papers are right behind. You could not win elections when the MSM was pushing for you from a position of strength. What now?

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

Then one has to say the Israelis are doing a really poor job.

I don't think we know that. Of course the lebanese will all them all civilian. It suits their purposes and it isn't as if they wear uniforms and dogtags. Of the 231 reported deaths 229 are probably hezbollah.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

whoa rdw. can you post something new? these talking points are as stale as the GWB's pledge to get Osama dead or alive.

Posted by: nut on July 20, 2006 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately, that's how the WH works, too. And they're sucking like a fish on dry land.


They own the WH, Senate, House and the Courts. It's the libs doing the sucking.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

these talking points are as stale as the GWB's pledge to get Osama dead or alive.


That's because you are so far behind. Catch up! Do some reading. Osama is back-burner. He can't do anything from his cave.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

Alan Dershowitz

Bio

07.19.2006
A Challenge (219 comments )

READ MORE: Israel, Lebanon
In today's Wall Street Journal I have an article demonstrating that Hezbollah and Hamas actually want Israel to kill Lebanese and Palestinian civilians (see 'Arithmetic of Pain') . I challenge the readers of this post to come up with a better alternative for Israel than to try to destroy Hezbollah's rockets, even at the cost of some civilian casualties.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

Israel at least has issued several apologies for specific incidents when it has hit civilian areas unnecessarily or due to bad intelligence. (Like the bus/van it hit on the bridge.) An apology isn't much, but it is something.

When was the last time Hezbollah apologized for hitting Israeli civilians?

And it should be noted that the Israeli side of things makes NO ATTEMPT to "blend in" with its own civilians -- thus creating a situation where it's own civilians stand a greater change of being hit due either to a targetting error or improper intelligence.

When Hezbollah starts apologizing and offering regret for the strikes IT is making, then maybe there can be some talk of equivalency. Until then, the only people I feel sorry for are the Lebanese civilians who are caught in the crossfire.

Posted by: J.C. on July 20, 2006 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

It's interesitng how Hezbollah and the GWOT split the Democrats while displaying their total lack of conviction and strength.

By LEE KEATH, Associated Press Writer
28 minutes ago

BEIRUT, Lebanon - Israeli troops punched into south Lebanon on Wednesday as warplanes flattened houses and buildings including one thought to hold Hezbollah's top leaders, intensifying an offensive despite mounting international pressure and a Lebanese appeal to spare the country further death and devastation.


The attempt to wipe out the Hezbollah leadership was the most dramatic action on a day that saw Israelis clash with the guerrillas and the Lebanese prime minister say about 300 people in his country

It drives libs crazy GWB is not 'actively involved' but he's got other libs like Dershowitz and Leiberman calling for GWB so do exactly what he's doing in letting Israel pursue it's policy and leaving Bolton to ridicule the moral evuivalence crowd. Anyone looking to pass another UN resolution will have to explain to John why the resolution ordering Hezbollah to disarm was so useless and why any UN resolution has ANY value.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

Don't forget Senator Clinton, rdw -- she's bought and paid for.

Posted by: Thomas on July 20, 2006 at 1:18 AM | PERMALINK

Bill Maher

07.19.2006
I Love Being on the Side of My President (166 comments )

READ MORE: Israel, George W. Bush

I hope this doesn't ruin your birthday, but I have to say, watching George Bush talk about Israel the last week has reminded me of a feeling that I hadn't felt in so long I forgot what it felt like: the feeling of pride when your president says what you want your president to say, especially in a matter that chokes you up a bit. I surrender my credentials as Bush exposer - from the very beginning - to no man, but on Israel, I love it that a U.S. president doesn't pretend Arab-Israeli conflict is an even-steven proposition. Lots of ethnic peoples, probably most, have at one time or another lost some territory; nobody's ever completely happy with their borders; people move and get moved, which is why the 20th century saw the movement of tens if not hundreds of millions of refugees in countries around the world. There was no entity of Arabs called "Palestine" before Israel made the desert bloom. If those 600,000 original Palestinian refugees had been handled with maturity by their Arab brethren, who had nothing but space to put them, they could have moved on -- the way Germans, Czechs, Poles, Chinese and everybody else has, including, of course, the Jews.

But I digress. I really wanted to say that, for all those who accuse the likes of myself and the birthday girl of being unpatriotic, or hating America first, the feeling I've had watching Israel defend herself and a US president defend Israel (a country that is held to a standard for "restraint" that no other country ever is asked to meet, but that's another story) just reminds me how wrong that is. I LOVE being on the side of my president, and mouthing "You go, boy" when he gets it right

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

floopmeister, Guerilla movements can lose every single damn battle they fight and still win the war in the end.
That's why guerillas fight that way.

That's well said, and, perhaps that's why Israel speaks of taking Lebanon back 20 years. Who would want that?


Hezbollah is a recognized political party in Lebanon, they have 14, I think, representatives in parliament. This make them not perfectly a non-state entity, except to the extent that Lebanon is a failed state held together by the grace of external forces.

Posted by: cld on July 20, 2006 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

i think rdw is misunderstood.

though i am sure that he has never worn a uniform of the amerikan armed forces, has never smelled death, he has the pogrom sussed.

mark my words, george walker bush is a crusader. as was his frat brother, john kerry. it was a professional wrestling style of an election.

the pogrom know is for the templar brotherhood to kill all of islam.

what you are watching now is the ouverture. all the acts must be completed within the next two years.

what is going to be happening will make adolf appear saintly. joe appear saintly.

millions of muslims are about to be murdered in what will long be regarded as the most horrific homicidal lunacy in the history of the planet.

eventually, this bushit/israeli lunacy will lead to the exchange of nukes.

the rubicon has been crossed.

i recommend that you think about finding a space beyond the known world. perhaps you will survive. tierra del fuego. cape town. hobart.

on the other hand, perhaps shute got it right in his stellar novel, on the beach.

all of us toast.

Posted by: albertchampion on July 20, 2006 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

rdw wrote:

But we are withdrawing and the elected government will have a military force more powerful than Sadr they can use to kill him if necessary

Except that Sadr controls the party with the most seats in parliament.

Posted by: Boronx on July 20, 2006 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

Except that Sadr controls the party with the most seats in parliament.

Except he doesn't control Maliki or the Army. They can't co-exist.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

There's your mistake. You are watching Anderson Cooper. Chances are CNN paid for access by agreeing to the tone of the coverage. They have a history in this regard. You really need to watch Fox.

See, any news organization that actually broadcasts from behind the lines of the 'other side' is clearly lying. If they were telling the truth, then clearly the Evil Ones wouldn't have allowed them to be there. In fact, every interview with a Lebanese civilian is, by definition, a lie. The only honest and objective news is that reported by our FOX News reporters sitting in New York or inside American or Israeli military headquarters, where they are provided with the Truth by the military officers who are carrying out the bombing.

The problem with talking to people who are being bombed is that they lack objectivity. For the objective viewpoint, you have to rely on the people who are bombing them.

Posted by: brooksfoe on July 20, 2006 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

Except he doesn't control Maliki or the Army. They can't co-exist.

Given that Maliki is now busy denouncing Israeli aggression, this seems a point of little relevance.

Posted by: brooksfoe on July 20, 2006 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

See, any news organization that actually broadcasts from behind the lines of the 'other side' is clearly lying

Not at all but CNN has a history of making deals for access. Eason Jordan was but one 'dealmaker'.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

The only honest and objective news is that reported by our FOX News reporters sitting in New York or inside American or Israeli military headquarters,

Fox happens to be doing an outstanding job and they're hardly in NYC. You can piss and moan all you wat but you'll never beat them. The MSM didn't cover Xmas in Cambodia. Fox did. Kerry is not President. Coincidence? I think not.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 1:40 AM | PERMALINK

Given that Maliki is now busy denouncing Israeli aggression, this seems a point of little relevance.

Maliki is a politician with his hands full on other matters. His opinion on Israel is of no concern. His work in cementing democracy will serve to protect Israel.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

i don't know who rdw is, but he needs to be straightjacketed and taken to the psych ward immediately.

a good shot of thorazine and perhaps his sanity can be restored.

short of that, he should not be allowed to roam about in public. he is a threat to his fellow citizens.

i wonder if he is like john aravosis. a roehmian homosexual.

Posted by: albertchampion on July 20, 2006 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

Americans are getting a history lesson. Since WWII we have been fed the line that Jews are perpetual victims - that they are hated for their extraordinary ability to play the piano and resell diamonds.

NOT SO - What Germany tried to tell us [and Russia before her] is that Jews subvert what ever host country they occupy - and that is why they were 'tagged' in places like Bohemia. They were tagged so they couldn't run the scam they are runnin on the grass eaters of America.

There are more Mormons than Jews in America - are there 10 Mormon Senators? Have Mormons every run a Hollywood studio - or all of em?

Do Mormons control Clear Channel? Yahoo? Microsoft? --- and don't ANYBODY tell me Murdoch is a goy... he most certainly is not.

His mother's name was GREENE and she was an Australian Jewess.

Part of the scam is hiding their ethnocentric bias... with name changes and hidden ethniicity.

Bill Maher -- sez he's Catholic. Ditto For Michael [it's all about oil] Moore.

BOTH ARE JEWS... ditto for Kevin Costner, Harrison Ford... name changes to fool the dummy goy.

WAKE UP AMERICA while we still have Christmas trees and Easter bunnies... JEWS ARE NOT OUR FRIENDS..

and they have been reviled thoughout history on EVERY CONTINENT in all times and in all places

because of the EVIL THEY DO

Posted by: tj on July 20, 2006 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

BLESS YOU TJ!!

Posted by: Bob on July 20, 2006 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

Not at all but CNN has a history of making deals for access.

Have you ever actually watched a FOX News interview with a senior US government official? This is simply laughable. And what exactly do you call the willingness of the entire US press corps to "embed" itself with the US military during the Iraq campaign?

It's not when the press is reporting from Arab neighborhoods that you should be worrying about what deals were made that might compromise the coverage. It's when they're reporting from inside US government buildings.

Posted by: brooksfoe on July 20, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

I thought Brit Hume's interview of the Vice-President after his hunting accident was well done.

Posted by: Thomas on July 20, 2006 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

Have you ever actually watched a FOX News interview with a senior US government official?

Yes,

Fox runs by far the best of the news organizations. On the networks half of the reporters are pimping for an anchor spot or one of their own shows. They ask questions designed to get themselves on the newscast not to actually learn something.

Their political analysis is the best too. They put up people with a political point of view that we know about. The MSM frauds pretend toward objectivity. By definition they're full of crap.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

The MSM didn't cover Xmas in Cambodia. Fox did. Kerry is not President. Coincidence? I think not.The MSM didn't cover Xmas in Cambodia. Fox did. Kerry is not President. Coincidence? I think not.

You have demonstrated how effective a propaganda arm of the GOP FOX is. Kerry's comment that he had at one point been, as far as he believed, in Cambodian territory was intended to simply note the point that many US troops had been in Cambodian territory, despite US official denials at the time, and in contravention of international law. And, indeed, many US troops were in Cambodian territory at the time, as Kerry said. The question of whether Kerry himself was actually in Cambodian territory remains unclear. In any case, Kerry legitimately believed himself to have been in Cambodian territory; most of the many Vietnam vets I've talked to have recollections of their service duty which similarly clash with clearly demonstrable fact, but that doesn't mean they're lying. And this is all of absolutely no importance to anyone, except to fascists trying to paint Kerry as a liar. George Bush's innumerable lies regarding his own service in the Texas ANG, his lamentable business career, the state of the facts regarding WMD and Iraq, connections between Al-Qaeda and Iraq and so on are of vastly greater consequence.

It's a classic preposterous fascist smear campaign, which only FOX, among the networks, sullied itself by covering. Coincidence? I think not.

Posted by: brooksfoe on July 20, 2006 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

floop: So why prolong the killing?

To get better terms on the prisoner exchange. And many other issues, like ensuring Hezbollah gets pushed back from the border and so forth. So it goes.

Posted by: brooksfoe on July 20, 2006 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

Kerry legitimately believed himself to have been in Cambodian territory; most of the many Vietnam vets I've talked to have recollections of their service duty which similarly clash with clearly demonstrable fact, but that doesn't mean they're lying.

In most cases they're absolutely lying. In Kerry's case there is no question. Big John screwed up in his embellishments which just reminded everyone of the insufferable Al Gore.

Big John said definitively it was xmas eve, Nixon was president and the memory was seared, seared in him. He also repeated the story several times, on tape. Nixon was not President on xmas eve in 1968.

He was absolutely lying. But even forgetting that, there is a more important factor at worked. Faced with the facts, so unequivical, that his story was 'fatally flawed', Kerry refused to issue a correction. The story, as he told it, could not possibly have been true. Yet he stood by it.

That's was very poor ethics and even worse decision-making.

I suspect he had several members of the MSM promise to ignore the story and advise him to do the same. Issuing a correction would only feed the controversy. Unfortunately it gave creedence to the other SBV stories. More unfortunate is the MSM doesn't matter.

I think this cost Kerry the race. The flip-flopping didn't help but he created an image of Al Gore and his regular embellishments and that's the last thing anyone wanted.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

I challenge the readers of this post to come up with a better alternative for Israel than to try to destroy Hezbollah's rockets, even at the cost of some civilian casualties.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

I did, but I really don't see you as the listening kind.

======
Except he doesn't control Maliki or the Army. They can't co-exist.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

What army? Oh, the "security forces" just around the corner, about to stand up these last 3 years. And noone has talked about building an army, yet. And what exxactly does Maliki control?

Your unfathomable, blind ignorance and apparent lack of any knowledge of history or world experience comes out every post.

J.C.-- shooting and bombing first and apologizing afterwards...repeatedly, stinks a little of cynicism, don't you think? We're not talking symetric forces. I've said it before: I don't see much morality on either side. I really can't see how you can say one is holier than the other.

Posted by: notthere on July 20, 2006 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

George Bush's innumerable lies regarding his own service in the Texas ANG

Timing is everything isn't it? The 2004 election will probably go down as the turning point for the MSM and the competition. The MSM was crushed. Liberals are so quck to trash GWBs service record without a sliver of evidence. It's so laughable to watch someone who never served anyone but themselves question GWBs service. It's equally laughable for someone who voted for Slick Willie, a confirmed and admitted draft dodger, to question GWBs service.

Best of all was the passion of Dan Rather. It was so cool watching him slither away in total humiliation last week. He got 5 executives fired and 'earned' the emnity of his collegues at the so-called tifany network. Not anymore!!!

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

I did, but I really don't see you as the listening kind.


That was a clip written by Alan Dershowitz. I didn't write it. I did not see a proposal by you. What time?

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 2:25 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: what makes you think we need more of your racist, inane white trash blathering? we already have jay. ... and brian.

... really, you are a sorry little bitch who adds nothing to the current mix of wingnut.

Posted by: Nads on July 20, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

I thought Brit Hume's interview of the Vice-President after his hunting accident was well done.

Posted by: Thomas on July 20, 2006 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

Fox runs by far the best of the news organizations...

Their political analysis is the best too. They put up people with a political point of view that we know about. The MSM frauds pretend toward objectivity. By definition they're full of crap.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 1:55 AM | PERMALINK

I think these 2 statements give as much information as anybody needs.

No critical ability. No need or wish to discern truth. Blind allegiance to the message served up by fawning lackies.

I tell you, the more I hear from these guys, the more I realize that some form of national socialism or soviet is alive and well. It must appeal to a certain type of subservient who just wants to be fed a simple message he can believe. The problems are all out "there" and certainly not with use. No, not ever.

Hail, the infallible leader.

You guys are a joke. Well. I wish you were, that's the scary part.

Posted by: notthere on July 20, 2006 at 2:27 AM | PERMALINK

What army? Oh, the "security forces" just around the corner, about to stand up these last 3 years. And noone has talked about building an army, yet. And what exxactly does Maliki control?

All of the Iraqi armed forces which are well over 300K and expected to reach full strength next month. Under the Iraqi constitution the PM control the military. Sadr has been told he will disarnm or be disarmed.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 2:29 AM | PERMALINK

You guys are a joke. Well. I wish you were, that's the scary part

You should be scared. We control it all. The WH, Senate, House and SCOTUS. We're a joke you can't beat. What's that make you?

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 2:31 AM | PERMALINK

We're a joke you can't beat. What's that make you?
Posted by: rdw

well, eventually ... conservatives always lose. womens' rights, minoroty rights, widespread and increasing tolerance of homosexuality, dilution of the predominantly white make-up and character of this country ... all for the better.

that's why you ignorant, racist pieces of white trash are so desperate.

our asinine foreign policy will similarly change for the better.

Posted by: Nads on July 20, 2006 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

not conservatives, amigo. fascists.

and never forget it.

Posted by: albertchampion on July 20, 2006 at 2:42 AM | PERMALINK

that's why you ignorant, racist pieces of white trash are so desperate.

Desperate?

Isn't the GOP in control?

Of EVERYTHING?

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 2:42 AM | PERMALINK

Of course the conservative pundits take their marching order from the bush folks. They have for quite a while now. Why do you folks think that un-American mAnne Coulter is allowed to spew the bias and hatred that she does.
RDW here believes the hype, sadly, he is a dupe.

Reagan NSD-77, Clinton PDD-68, and Bush Jr NSPD-16 if you want to google for the propaganda crap we are being subjected to for the good of killing people and fomenting war. Not to mention letting the wacko racist pundits run amok on the airwaves. Fair and Balanced it is not, nor is it liberal media, it is just the opposite.

Posted by: Milton Friedman on July 20, 2006 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

All of the Iraqi armed forces which are well over 300K and expected to reach full strength next month. Under the Iraqi constitution the PM control the military. Sadr has been told he will disarnm or be disarmed.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 2:29 AM | PERMALINK

As I said, fed a simple message you can believe.

And we've stood down how many troops? "Stand-up/Stand-down." Fearless leader. Any connection? And full strength in August, huh? In military terms I would take that to mean operationally. So we shall expect an end to the internecine strife? The disbanding of the Mhadi army? Peace in our time?

God, you are so simple.

Oh, not operationally. When then? This year? Next year? You tell me when the Sadr's militia will be disarmed. I might make you a bet, as long as my return doubles for every 6 months beyond your guess. Deal?

Posted by: notthere on July 20, 2006 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

fair enough, ac ... certainly the trash that posts here doesn't hide their admiration of prior fascists.

Posted by: Nads on July 20, 2006 at 2:47 AM | PERMALINK

The GOP in control that's rich. They are bought and paid for.

Posted by: Milton Friedman on July 20, 2006 at 2:49 AM | PERMALINK

...well, eventually ... conservatives always lose. womens' rights, minoroty rights, widespread and increasing tolerance of homosexuality, dilution of the predominantly white make-up and character of this country ... all for the better.

Conservatism might be King (Canute) but progressivism is the Tide.

Progress would, by definition, have to be forward moving, I would think.

Oh, and:

The problem with talking to people who are being bombed is that they lack objectivity. For the objective viewpoint, you have to rely on the people who are bombing them. brooksfoe

is the comment of the thread. Bravo.

Posted by: floopmeister on July 20, 2006 at 2:50 AM | PERMALINK

amerikans are so fucking ignorant.

someone mentioned the israeli strike on the uss liberty. i bet that most on this board don't have a clue what that was all about.

here is what it was about.

the liberty was a u.s. sigint asset. monitoring the six-day war. offshore gaza, it monitored arik sharon's mass murdering of palestinians in southern gaza.

the tapes of that bit of genocide had to be destroyed.

therefore, the idf targeted the liberty for destruction.

the liberty was not sunk. though it was seriously damaged and many us swabbies were wounded, killed.

lbj refrained from attacking israel in retribution for this attack.

many have wondered why lbj failed to defend amerikan assets. few care to say it. i shall. it was because the mossad, shin bet had lbj's pecker in their pocket.

they owned him.

just as they own george walker bush.

when georgie boy was caught doing blow, it was the houston synagogues that provided george the mechanism for his parole.

the rabbi friedman foundation, i think.

how odd that another participant in that foundation has done so much to shape the anti-muslim orientation of the bushit regime.

his name, yossef bodansky. an israeli that also has an usa passport. the director of the republican congressional committee on anti-terrorism. the man who was responsible for the book target america.

the man who wrote the book, bin laden: the man who declared war on america.

yossef bodansky. a shin bet asset who has taken the united states of amerika into an israeli war.

concluding, it seems you have all forgotten the last bit of israeli mass murdering of non-combatants in the levant.

sabra, shatilla.

and the amerikan dod-designed, pinochet-manufactured[cardoen enterprises] cluster bombs dropped on beirut.

what insults me is how ignorant all of this board are.

Posted by: albertchampion on July 20, 2006 at 3:02 AM | PERMALINK

I don't wann hear another peep out of the Gooper trolls running around talking crap;

Out of the political ruins, Richard Nixons former Treasury Secretary William Simon was one of the leaders of a powerful movement to not only establish better control of what they viewed as a far left media but to set up various support organizations like think tanks and supportive private economic organizations that would fully support government policies, whatever they might be. From many wealthy individuals and corporations, millions of dollars were raised. In addition to open sources, even more money was obtained from dubious sources, such as the Reverend Moon and a number of Asian groups whose names never appear on any donors list

Posted by: Milton Friedman on July 20, 2006 at 3:07 AM | PERMALINK

"many have wondered why lbj failed to defend amerikan assets. few care to say it. i shall. it was because the mossad, shin bet had lbj's pecker in their pocket."

NO. It was because LBJ was a secret Jew, just like BUSH.

Posted by: Honest on July 20, 2006 at 3:31 AM | PERMALINK

...what insults me is how ignorant all of this board are.

Posted by: albertchampion on July 20, 2006 at 3:02 AM | PERMALINK

No. There are a number of knowledgeable and perceptive posters here. The difficulty, always, is being brief and keeping to the point. Basically, there is a 100 or 2,000 year history to all this, and then we have to deal with the trolls and the truly ignorant (not either the same group or exclusive) that we get sucked into.

My two beefs would be distractions from the main point and the resulting descent to sniping, and the over-observation of looking to the past and NOT finding a way to a positive future.

I don't see enough positivism, or response from either side to possible progress and ideas.

Posted by: notthere on July 20, 2006 at 3:53 AM | PERMALINK

Robert Fisk reports from Lebanon:
...Israelis did come back some hours later and bombed the barracks of these soldiers, which were members of a logistics unit. Their job was to repair bridges and electrical lines. They weren't combat soldiers. And they killed ten Lebanese soldiers, including the three young men who had protected me the previous day. This was outrageous, because the Israelis know what each individual Lebanese army unit is doing. They know if it's a combat unit, armored personnel carriers, helicopters, whatever.

And they picked on this sole barracks to destroy those men, to exterminate them, because, of course, their job was to keep Beirut alive, to keep the power systems running, to repair the bridges which were being destroyed -- 46 bridges now, according to Minister of Finance, who told me this a few hours ago, have been destroyed in Lebanon.

These are war crimes.

Posted by: Maeven on July 20, 2006 at 4:38 AM | PERMALINK

Poor RDW is definitely living in some parallel universe.

I'm usually more of a big picture person, but I just can't resist picking this nit: in recent weeks, as recently as yesterday or the day before, RDW was claiming that 250,000 Iraqis have been trained and are ready to assume responsibility. Now today, suddenly, it's 300,000 Iraqis. Wow, we can sure train them quickly, right?

I agree with Floop (I almost always agree with Floop) that it's basically impossible to succeed against guerrilla warfare. Every "terrorist" eliminated gives rise to 2 more or 5 more or 10 more...you'd think it would be obvious that all of these "preemptive strikes" have only created greater and more instransigent opposition.

The current situation is just the latest of a long string of wars, skirmishes, suicide bombings, etc. There is plenty of guilt on the part of all participants, Israel, Hezbollah, Iran, Syria, etc. All of you who post the atrocities committed by one side without acknowledging the atrocities committed by the other side are, to put it most charitably, not serious. And frankly, I consider you delusional. You also prove Kevin's earlier post about longing for moral clarity and superiority. Sorry, folks, those are mirages.

A large UN force might not work. Thanks to CMDicely for pointing out that the current one has no mandate to do actual fighting. But the current path is: one side has a suicide bomber so the other side bombs the shit out of the whole area, so another bunch of bombs are set off on public busses, then more bombing of Palestine or whatever, on and on, ad nauseum. This is clearly not working and hasn't worked for 60 years or so. Time to try something new.

Posted by: Wolfdaughter on July 20, 2006 at 5:00 AM | PERMALINK

A large UN force might not work. Thanks to CMDicely for pointing out that the current one has no mandate to do actual fighting. But the current path is:...

Posted by: Wolfdaughter on July 20, 2006 at 5:00 AM | PERMALINK

You know what. The whole point is that a lot people who post here have no idea of the reality of the last 60 years. They show themselves to be 30, or so. less or more.

This problem has to be solved in the totality. You all keep wanting to split it into some fraction. That won't work.

All the bodies and half-bodies that keep coming back from Iraq, those of you who "believe" the "course" are already lost in unreality, but the rest of us struggle with what might or could be done.

I would really feel better if we realistically looked for the best posible outcome.

The problem immediately arises from the reality part. It has been shown that Republcan supporters are not in touch with the reality war (Iraq), human rights, or electoral rights. Corruption pervades.

You Bush-supporters, please tell me you all are not so out of touch with reality as you continually show yourselves to be. Please!

Posted by: notthere on July 20, 2006 at 5:42 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: okay, I'll bite. Explain to me why this article doesn't offer a plausible case that Kerry was in Cambodia on the night of December 24, 1968.

Posted by: Mithrandir on July 20, 2006 at 6:03 AM | PERMALINK

rdw: You really need to watch Fox.


from froomkin in the wapo

Via Romenesko , a Survey and Research Policy Institute poll finds: "Among those who watch Fox for their news, 59% approve of the job George W. Bush is doing as president and 29% disapprove. But among non-Fox viewers, just 25% approve of the president's performance and 66% disapprove."


its probably just coincidence

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on July 20, 2006 at 6:13 AM | PERMALINK

Mithrandir:

Don't bother arguing with rdw about the nuances of John Kerry's military career, which any reasonable observer would agree is much more impressive and distinguished than GWB's. Kerry lost the election because the MSM focused on minutae like this, and not on Bush's policies, which a majority of Americans oppose and which do real long-term damage to this country. Poll after poll suggests Americans favor more stem cell research, even embryonic; less funding for Israel, particularly when they do shit like they are doing in Lebanon; more govt. funding of health care, even if it means higher taxes; and on and on and on. Bush and his minions are on the wrong side of virtually every issue and that is what we need to focus like a laser on and not into get into pissing matches about where John Kerry spent Christmas 40 years ago. We need to get in the face of these reptiles and repeat, "You and your policies are wrong and they are wrong for America". Thanks for listening.

SK

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on July 20, 2006 at 6:17 AM | PERMALINK

Israel Fakes a Provocation (the "kidnapping" of Cpl Gilad Shalit)

The following passages in italics are from

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/06/26/wmid26.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/06/26/ixnews.html

Last night two Israeli soldiers were killed and another kidnapped in a dawn attack by Palestinian militants who tunnelled under Gazas heavily protected border.

The attackers, believed to number seven or eight, surprised Israeli forces when they appeared at first light through a tunnel on open ground 300 yards inside Israel near a kibbutz.

Gaza is built on old semi-consolidated sand dunes. It is extremely unlikely that anyone could tunnel 500, or more, yards in the sandy ground of Gaza (300 yards into Israel plus 200 yards of no-mans land plus more to the tunnel entrance), without the tunnel collapsing at some point.

They split into three groups before launching simultaneous attacks on three Israeli defensive positions - a look-out tower, plus a tank and an armoured personnel carrier, both dug in, facing Gaza.

If you were only seven or eight, would you split into three groups? If you were only two, or three, would you attack a tank over flat ground, manned by four soldiers waiting inside to kill you?

They blew open the tanks rear doors with a missile fired from point-blank range before tossing grenades inside. Two of the tank crew died and another was severely wounded but the final crew member, the gunner, was forced out of the wreckage at gunpoint.

The rear doors are blown off and a few grenades popped inside. Tanks are not made to fall apart. Blowing off the rear doors would have taken a blast sufficient to seriously hurt those inside. The grenades would have then made mincemeat of them.

Later reports mention that Shalit survives all this while only hurting his arm, even though everyone else dies or is severely wounded. Shalit would have been less than three feet away from those killed (there is no spare room in a tank), but survived without a scratch (except, perhaps to his arm).

Israeli trackers said they found his blood-stained bulletproof vest close to the Gaza perimeter fence.

The militants force Shalit to take off his bulletproof vest and leave it close to the Gaza concentration camp fence, in order to help the Israelis with their investigation.

By the way, whose blood is it on his bulletproof vest? Since it wasnt his, I guess he had the other soldiers blood and guts all over him. This means that he was very close to those killed by the grenades, which means he should have been severely injured, or killed, himself.

Meanwhile, two other militants attacked a nearby concrete watchtower.... The troop carrier was also damaged in another attack but it was unoccupied. The attackers then escaped back into Gaza by cutting their way through the perimeter fence.

Interestingly, the attackers escaped easily by cutting through the (electrified) perimeter fence, yet cutting through the perimeter fence in order to get in, was so hard to do, that they burrowed through half a mile of sandy ground instead. Something wrong with this story, perhaps?

After all this commotion, the soldiers in all the nearby Gaza concentration camp guard-towers, manage to miss a few Arabs running the 300 yards, over flat ground, back to the perimeter fence, miss them when they cut through it, and miss them running across no-mans land to safety. Any why, you may ask, did they not return through the tunnel they had painstakingly dug? Perhaps, they wanted to prove the total incompetence of the Israeli soldier.

If you believe this sad tale, I have a bridge to sell you.

The Hamas political leadership sought to distance itself from the incident last night when a spokesman said it had no knowledge of the fate of Cpl Shilat. Ghazi Hamad, a spokesman, said: "We are calling on the resistance groups, if they do have the missing soldier to protect his life and treat him well."

Yes, the Hamas political leadership had no idea of the fate of Cpl Shilat, as the story is a total fabrication.

If you are not already convinced that the whole story is a fabrication, ask yourself; What were the four Israeli soldiers doing in the tiny confines of that dug-in tank? Ask your self; How long were they going to continue sitting in that tank? All day perhaps, or till they roasted in the desert sun? Or, till another group of four took over on the next shift? And of course, having four soldiers in just one tank, wont provide a defense, so there will have to be hundreds of tanks and hundreds of soldiers all sitting in these tanks,...

all waiting,... all waiting,... all waiting,.... for exactly what?

Waiting for Palestinian children to throw stones at them, perhaps? Perhaps, waiting attentively for militants to dig a half mile tunnel through sandy ground, pop up, and rush them over flat ground, but not attentively enough to see them approach? Perhaps, they were waiting for the Egyptian army to materialize, Star Trek like, from their bases hundreds of miles away on the other side of the Suez canal? I dont know,... you tell me why?

Yes, the story is a total fabrication. A fake provocation to start a war. Yes, the Jews are evil people.

Posted by: HonestLee on July 20, 2006 at 7:52 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, the Jews are evil people.

I disagree with Israel's current attacks against civilian targets, but I have absolutely no truck with such anti-Semitic claptrap. (Spammed to multiple threads, yet!)

You, sir or madam, can kindly stuff it.

Posted by: Gregory on July 20, 2006 at 8:22 AM | PERMALINK

How dare any of you sub-intelligent losers critisize Israel. We have every one of your names and addresses. This is 21st century America. Israel can do what ever she wants and your job is to shut up and pay for it all. It's people like you who are responsible for the holocaust.

Besides, do you think that this is 1999 or something and the U.S. is still a super power. Wake up and smell the new world order.

Posted by: Nicollo MacPlato on July 20, 2006 at 8:34 AM | PERMALINK

Usually I find rdw's delusions amusing in a sad sort of way, but sweet Jesus!:

This is Jew versus Muslim.

Yes, you blithering idiot, that's exactly how much of the world sees it -- a fact that does not at all redound to Israel's advantage, to say nothing of the US's.

This is GWOT.

Gee, pal, thanks a lot for conflating the so-called Global War on Terror with the Arab-Israeli conflict. I can onyl hope that this delusions springs from your fevered brain and is not being bandied about by the yo-yos on the conservative blogs you treat as your Bible. If so, we're in bigger trouble than I thought.

One final thought for the apologists who justify attacks on nations perceived as enablers to groups perceived as enemies -- are you sure you want to endorse the rationale put forth by some terrorists for attacking the United States?

Moral equivalence: It's the new black!

Posted by: Gregory on July 20, 2006 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with Floop (I almost always agree with Floop) that it's basically impossible to succeed against guerrilla warfare. Every "terrorist" eliminated gives rise to 2 more or 5 more or 10 more

Total nonsense. I take it if we were to face a domestic guerilla movement we need to immediately surrender. That's just too stupid.

Reagan fought several guerrilla wars in Central and South America and won them all. The taliban and al Qaeda were a gurerilla movement in Afghanistan and now they're surviving in caves. Sadat crushed the fanatics in the Muslim brotherhood just as every middle eastern leader today has crushed at least one guerrilla movement and usually several.

The best recent example is of course Sharon and the infatada. The idea isn't to eliminate the donkey on the street wearing the suicide belt. Islam has 200,000 fools. You hunt down and kill the leaders. They believe in martyrdom as long as they don't have to do the dying.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

If so, we're in bigger trouble than I thought.

You are in much bigger trouble!

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

How does it feel to be so impotent as a country that half of you are intellectualizing the beginning of the WWIII while the other half is praising it as the second coming of Christ.

Do wee own your asses or what?

Posted by: Nicollo MacPlato on July 20, 2006 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

its probably just coincidence

It's not remotely coincidental but it is a disaster for you.

Unlike the liberal media the folks at Fox are not out to decide who is President or what policies to pursue. The folks at Fox cover the news. The 59% sounds a bit low.

Fox is only part of your problem. Talk Radio gets 2x's as many listeners and these are politically astute people. They listen and they vote. They didn't vote for John Kerry and they won't be voting for Hillary Clinton.

Many of the people who watch the network news are not politically oriented and don't vote. There is now a disparity in influence greatly in favor of conservatism.

Consider Air America. It's been one humiliation after another. They're toast. Bill Bennett started at the same time as Al Franken and he's successful in 150 markets and still the 2nd fastest growing talk show host by percent. Mark Levin is the fastest growing by percent.

Conservative talk radio has a huge market which provides daily access for book sellers like Ann Coulter and GOP candidates like Rudy and Senate candidates like Lt Gov Steele to get some free publicity and more experience in the give and take of campaigning. The more experience they get the better they become as candidates. It's a perfect opportunity to enhance their name recognition at no cost and polish their presentation.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

Explain to me why this article doesn't offer a plausible case that Kerry was in Cambodia on the night of December 24, 1968.


The single biggest problem wasn't where Kerry was but the President he was listening to deny they were in Cambodia and he had his life-altering ephinany.

He said it was Nixon. Only Nixon wasn't President.

The dumb bastard told a moronic story which he repeated many times in front of the MSM and came to actually believe it. The syncophants in the press were too stupid to question it. Liberals don't lie!

BTW: late in his campaign his official web site said the date if the 'trip' may have been wrong. He may have had the wrong holiday. Even Brinkley admitted he probably got confused on the dates.

The simple ass pulled an Al Gore. He took a nice story and exaggerated it out of all proportion and his friends in the press did their usual excellent review.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

The following is quoted from a longer article above:

If you are not already convinced that the whole story (of Cpl Gilad Shalit's "kidnapping") is a fabrication, ask yourself; What were the four Israeli soldiers doing in the tiny confines of that dug-in tank? Ask your self; How long were they going to continue sitting in that tank? All day perhaps, or till they roasted in the desert sun? Or, till another group of four took over on the next shift? And of course, having four soldiers in just one tank, wont provide a defense, so there will have to be hundreds of tanks and hundreds of soldiers all sitting in these tanks,...

all waiting,... all waiting,... all waiting,.... for exactly what?

Waiting for Palestinian children to throw stones at them, perhaps? Perhaps, waiting attentively for militants to dig a half mile tunnel through sandy soil, pop up, and rush them over flat ground, but not attentively enough to see them approach? Perhaps, they were waiting for the Egyptian army to materialize, Star Trek like, from their bases hundreds of miles away on the other side of the Suez canal? I dont know,... you tell me why?

Yes, the story is a total fabrication. A fake provocation to start a war. Yes, the Jews are evil people.

So you have no comment on Israel/Jews deliberately starting a war in the Middle East?

In your view, it is OK for Israel/Jews to start wars then? In fact, desirable, right?

Posted by: HonestLee on July 20, 2006 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

While we were gone, was there a DU invasion? Did you see the stuff about LBJ even? "Jews are evil"?

Posted by: Thomas on July 20, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

How does it feel to be so impotent as a country that half of you are intellectualizing the beginning of the WWIII

Impotent?

What's impotent about crushing islamic fundamentalists? And it's not WWIII. We won WWI. We won WWII. We won WWIII (cold war) and we'll win WWIV easily. It's a very low grade conflict and will be fought mainly by proxies just as the Cold War.

We've got Japan arming up. We've got Canada arming up. We've got Germany getting significantly more aggressive and we've even got France talking about putting an offensive force in Lebanon to nullify Hezbollah.

We also have a nice split in the Middle East. Hezbollah has supporters in Iran and Syria but the Saudi's have put out a fatwa on anyone supporting them. The taliban and Al qaeda can only exist in caves in tribal lands operating a 16th century economy. Hamas has lost Arab support for the Palestinians and best of all before Arafat died Sharon forced him to ask permission to go to the bathroom.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

"You and your policies are wrong and they are wrong for America". Thanks for listening.

SK,

That was hardly new news. Everyone heard from the looney left. We saw Michael Moore sitting with Jimmy Carter. We all knew what you thought of GWB.

Unfortunately for you we also saw MM calling Americans the dumbest people on the planet on every stop on his European tour. Believe it or not that didn't gain him a fan club here. He made your party into fools. He pocketed over $100M playing liberals for fools while electing GWB.


The voters had an exceedingly clear picture of both candidates and a clear choice. That's why GWB increased his vote total by a stunning 23%.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

"The taliban and al Qaeda were a gurerilla movement in Afghanistan and now they're surviving in caves."

Bullshit.

"Afghan officials said Monday that Taliban forces have taken over two towns in the southern part of the country from local forces, while coalition troops said they were investigating reports the insurgents had taken control."

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/07/17/world/main1810243.shtml?source=R

"You hunt down and kill the leaders."

So the Administration is hunting down and killing bin Laden in Iraq? Moron.

The reason you are such a fool, rdw, is that you are consumed with trivial pursuit like whether John Kerry listened to Nixon in Cambodia on Christmas, instead of paying attention to the real world. You are a hapless buffoon.

Posted by: Joel on July 20, 2006 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting thread, especially the Hezbollah spammer. How are things in the bunker, Honest Lee ?

Isn't it interesting that the Israelis only kill civilians? Not one Hezbollah fighter dead so far. There's no media bias.

Posted by: Mike K on July 20, 2006 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

"The voters had an exceedingly clear picture of both candidates and a clear choice. That's why GWB increased his vote total by a stunning 23%."

Heh. Still stuck in the past, huh, rdw? You retired guys just can't keep up, can you?


"Of 1,002 U.S. adults surveyed in a telephone poll, 34% said Mr. Bush is doing an "excellent or pretty good" job as president, up a tick from 33% in June. By comparison, 65% of Americans said Mr. Bush is doing an "only fair or poor" job, down from 67% last month.

"With midterm elections less than four months away, the poll also asked respondents whether they would choose a Democratic or Republican candidate "if the election for Congress were held today." Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they would vote for the Democratic candidate, up from 41% in April, while 31% said they would vote for the Republican candidate, down from 37% in April."

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB115325521785410209-5LsiMBcgr1qoXbLwJ18LF_xa7Eo_20060818.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top

Posted by: Joel on July 20, 2006 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

SK,

Kerry's career WAS more impressive than GWB's. So why do liberals have this need to lie and embellish everything?

The only person who lied about GWBs career was Dan Rather. Wasn't that perfect justice watching him slither off in shame and humiliation last week?

Even Kevin admitted Dan was a disgrace. You have to admit, the MSM has been devastated by GWB. Ratings are in the toilet, editors are getting fired, columnists feel they are being abused because they have to keep it honest, and the anchors are all gone. It's George Clooneys luck to come out with a movie attempting to restore CBS while Rather refuses to resign after getting half of upper management fired for fraud.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

notthere:

Please point out the lack of "critical ability" or "No need or wish to discern truth. Blind allegiance to the message served up by fawning lackies" in Brit's questions:

"How did you feel when you heard about that?"

"How long have you known him?"

"Would you describe him as a close friend, friendly acquaintance?"

"Tell me what happened?"

"How many?"

"Away from him?"

"There was just two of you then?"

"You had pulled the trigger and you saw him?"

"What was he wearing?"

"Then what?"

"How far away from you was he?"

"Now, is it clear that he had caught part of the shot, is that right?"

"And you and I take it, you missed the bird?" (at first, I thought this was a silly question too, but then I realized it wasn't given the Vice-President's answer)

"So did you run over to him or "

"And what did you see?"

"And Mr. Whittington was conscious, unconscious, what?

"What did you say?"

"What did he say?"

"What did you think when you saw the injuries? How serious did they appear to you to be?"

"And what did you do then? Did you get up and did you go with him, or did you go to the hospital?"

"Did you have a sense then of how he was doing?"

"His eyes were open when you found him, then, right?"

"So by now what time is it?"

"So this is several hours after the incident?"

"Right, and so you know all the procedures and how to maintain the proper line and distance between you and other hunters, and all that. So how, in your judgment, did this happen? Who what caused this? What was the responsibility here?"

"Now, what about this it was said you were hunting out of vehicles. Was that because you have to have the vehicles, or was that because that's your the way you chose to hunt that day?"

"So you could be a distance of a miles from where you spot quail until the next place you may find them?"

"Does that kind of hunting only go forward on foot, or is it mostly "

"Was anybody drinking in this party?"

"So he wasn't, and you weren't?"

"Now, what thought did you give, then, to how you must have known that this was whether it was a matter of state, or not, was news. What thought did you give that evening to how this news should be transmitted?"

"When did the family when had the family been informed? About what time?"

"Right, what about his children?"

"Well, what you must have recognized, though, with all your experience in Washington, that this was going to be a big story."

"Well, did it occur to you that sooner was I mean, the one thing that we've all kind of learned over the last several decades is that if something like this happens, as a rule sooner is better?"

" But there were some things you knew. I mean, you knew the man had been shot, you knew he was injured, you knew he was in the hospital, and you knew you'd shot him?"

"And you knew certainly by sometime that evening that the relevant members of his family had been called. I realize you didn't know the outcome, and you could argue that you don't know the outcome today, really, finally?"

"Had you discussed this with colleagues in the White House, with the President, and so on?"

"Not until Sunday morning? Was that the first conversation you'd had with anybody in the at the White House?"

"And did you discuss this with Karl Rove at any time, as has been reported?"

"Say that again?"

"What do you think now?"

"By the next morning, had you spoken again to Mr. Whittington?"

"When was that?"

"Now, by that time had the word gone out to the newspaper?"

"Now, it strikes me that you must have known that this was going to be a national story - and it does raise the question of whether you couldn't have headed off this beltway firestorm if you had put out the word to the national media, as well as to the local newspaper so that it could post it on its website. I mean, in retrospect, wouldn't that have been the wise course "

"Well, obviously, you could have put the statement out in the name of whoever you wanted. You could put it out in the name of Mrs. Armstrong, if you wanted to. Obviously, that's she's the one who made the statement."

"Now, the suspicion grows in some quarters that you that this was an attempt to minimize it, by having it first appear in a little paper and appear like a little hunting incident down in a remote corner of Texas."

"When did you first speak to if you spoke to Andy Card at, what, mid-day, you said, on Sunday?"

"And what about when did you first when, if ever, have you discussed it with the President?"

"There is reporting to the effect that some in the White House feel you kind of well, look at what Scott McClellan went through the last couple days. There's some sense and perhaps not unfairly so that you kind of hung him out to dry. How do you feel about that?"

"Well, perhaps so, but isn't there an institution here present at the White House that has long-established itself as the vehicle through which White House news gets out, and that's the pool?"

"What about just coming out yourself Monday/Tuesday how come?"

"Describe if you can your conversations with him, what you've said to him and the attitude he's shown toward you in the aftermath of this."

"What did he say about that? You said, "expressed concern" about you what did he say?"

"For you, personally, how would you you said this was one of the worst days of your life. How so?"

"Will it affect your attitude toward this pastime you so love in the future?"

"Some organizations have said they hoped you would find a less violent pastime."

"On another subject, court filings have indicated that Scooter Libby has suggested that is superiors unidentified authorized the release of some classified information. What do you know about that?"

"Let me ask you another question. Is it your view that a vice president has the authority to declassify information?"

"Have you done it?"

"You ever done it unilaterally?

"There have been two leaks, one that pertained to possible facilities in Europe; and another that pertained to this NSA matter. There are officials who have had various characterizations of the degree of damage done by those. How would you characterize the damage done by those two reports?"

"Which has been the more harmful, in your view?"

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,185012,00.html

I'd like to see you or Barbara Walters do better, or even get the who, what, when, and why.

Posted by: Thomas on July 20, 2006 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

*sigh*...rdw must be a pimply-faced 14-year old who has never cracked open one history book.

If he's an adult and is representative of the US population, then we're in real kimchee.

I think China is going to end up the real winner from all of this. The only thing they have to do is sit back and watch us get dragged by the neocons into another quagmire in the Mideast.

$200/bbl oil price spikes are not something the US economy will weather easily. And I wonder how much support the average american will have for these excellent little war adventures when their kids are drafted and they have to deal with $>6/gallon gasoline?

Posted by: tzs on July 20, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

Hang on, tzs. rdw will be back shortly to explain to us how the supply of cheap oil is endless, thanks to Canadian tar sands and oil shale, how the Canadian economy will be destroyed by Kyoto, and how Bush has inked a trade deal with Oman that will put China back on its heels.

Apparently rdw is not a 14 y.o. middle school kid as you and I surmise, though his analytical skills have not advanced beyond that age. Apparently, he is a retired accountant who thinks that repeating talking points he's heard on Faux News together with trash talk about Kerry and Rather makes his baffelgab somehow appear erudite.

Posted by: Joel on July 20, 2006 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

At leat we will be able to drill ANWAR.

Posted by: Thomas on July 20, 2006 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

I should point out to everyone that "Thomas" is the new nom de loon of thread-spammer Charlie, who until a few days ago was Ralph Reed booster "Doug M." Charlie/Doug went a bit too far, though, when he claimed to have been in combat in Desert Storm, a cowardly lie I quickly caught him in, so he even more quickly changed his handle.

Posted by: Stefan on July 20, 2006 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

I am neither Charlie nor Doug M., but Canadian tar sands and oil shale is actually quite feasible at $200/bbl.

Posted by: Thomas on July 20, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

I am neither Charlie nor Doug M., but Canadian tar sands and oil shale is actually quite feasible at $200/bbl.

Ya think? At $200/bbl it becomes profitable to burn concrete, water, cheese, barking dogs, tape dispensers, etc.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on July 20, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

As far as I know, Doug M. was a long-time lurker / first-time poster just about Ralph Reed. I don't recall ever seeing him post before. I've posted plenty of times BEFORE Doug M. As for "spam" notthere posted more of that above than I. Is he Charlie too?

Posted by: Thomas on July 20, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Apparently rdw is not a 14 y.o. middle school kid as you and I surmise, though his analytical skills have not advanced beyond that age. Apparently, he is a retired accountant who thinks that repeating talking points he's heard on Faux News together with trash talk about Kerry and Rather makes his baffelgab somehow appear erudite.

He's also, as his writings make clear, a sociopathic paranoid schizophrenic with touches of mania, narcissistic personality disorder, and obsessive thinking (and a bizarre homoerotic fixation on George Clooney). He lives inside a carefully constructed psychotic delusion, so it really makes no sense to debate him or address him one on one -- you might as well try to engage in a conversation with the homeless lunatic on the street corner (which he essentially is, but with a high-speed DSL connection). You can't convince the crazy. Best to just correct some of his more obvious factual errors and move on.

Posted by: Stefan on July 20, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

"Canadian tar sands and oil shale is actually quite feasible at $200/bbl."

At which point the USA will be a wholly owned subsidiary of the PRC.

Posted by: Joel on July 20, 2006 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

As far as I know, Doug M. was a long-time lurker / first-time poster just about Ralph Reed. I don't recall ever seeing him post before. I've posted plenty of times BEFORE Doug M. As for "spam" notthere posted more of that above than I. Is he Charlie too?

Yup, it's Doug M./Charlie. The "is he Charlie too?" is another of his particular tics.

Posted by: Stefan on July 20, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

Well, yes, all of that is also true.

Posted by: Joel on July 20, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Jeffrey Davis:

Please let tzs and Joel know.

Stefan:

Fine, whatever you say then.

Posted by: Thomas on July 20, 2006 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

You don't eliminate a milita by outside military force. The IDF may be able to eliminate many of those 10,000 rockets (and the apartment buildings they are on top of), but as for getting rid of angry young men I think they are SOL.
If the Lebanese army was willing/able to occupy the south end of their own country, then I think this would have been all moot, anyway.

Posted by: doug r on July 20, 2006 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

"Jeffrey Davis:

Please let tzs and Joel know."

Poor Charlie/Doug M/Thomas. Can't even recognize sarcasm.

Posted by: Joel on July 20, 2006 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

doug r:

I believe you are missing the point about destroying their rocket sites in the valley AND their supply / escape routes. This action is not over yet by a longshot.

Posted by: Thomas on July 20, 2006 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Americans are getting a history lesson. Since WWII we have been fed the line that Jews are perpetual victims - that they are hated for their extraordinary ability to play the piano and resell diamonds.

NOT SO - What Germany tried to tell us [and Russia before her] is that Jews subvert what ever host country they occupy - and that is why they were 'tagged' in places like Bohemia. They were tagged so they couldn't run the scam they are runnin on the grass eaters of America.

There are more Mormons than Jews in America - are there 10 Mormon Senators? Have Mormons every run a Hollywood studio - or all of em?

Do Mormons control Clear Channel? Yahoo? Microsoft? --- and don't ANYBODY tell me Murdoch is a goy... he most certainly is not.

His mother's name was GREENE and she was an Australian Jewess.

Part of the scam is hiding their ethnocentric bias... with name changes and hidden ethniicity.

Bill Maher -- sez he's Catholic. Ditto For Michael [it's all about oil] Moore.

BOTH ARE JEWS... ditto for Kevin Costner, Harrison Ford... name changes to fool the dummy goy.

WAKE UP AMERICA while we still have Christmas trees and Easter bunnies... JEWS ARE NOT OUR FRIENDS..

and they have been reviled thoughout history on EVERY CONTINENT in all times and in all places

because of the EVIL THEY DO

Posted by: TJ on July 20, 2006 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

The following is quoted from a longer article above:

If you are not already convinced that the whole story (of Cpl Gilad Shalit's "kidnapping") is a fabrication, ask yourself; What were the four Israeli soldiers doing in the tiny confines of that dug-in tank? Ask your self; How long were they going to continue sitting in that tank? All day perhaps, or till they roasted in the desert sun? Or, till another group of four took over on the next shift? And of course, having four soldiers in just one tank, wont provide a defense, so there will have to be hundreds of tanks and hundreds of soldiers all sitting in these tanks,...

all waiting,... all waiting,... all waiting,.... for exactly what?

Waiting for Palestinian children to throw stones at them, perhaps? Perhaps, waiting attentively for militants to dig a half mile tunnel through sandy soil, pop up, and rush them over flat ground, but not attentively enough to see them approach? Perhaps, they were waiting for the Egyptian army to materialize, Star Trek like, from their bases hundreds of miles away on the other side of the Suez canal? I dont know,... you tell me why?

Yes, the story is a total fabrication. A fake provocation to start a war. Yes, the Jews are evil people.

So you have no comment on Israel/Jews deliberately starting a war in the Middle East?

In your view, it is OK for Israel/Jews to start wars then? In fact, desirable, right?

The Jews here refuse to answer, or even address, the question.

Why? Because it is clear that Gilad Shalit's "kidnapping" was fake,... a great big Jew LIE.

Posted by: HonestLee on July 20, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, thanks to trolls like Charlie/Thomas and rdw and Nazis like HonestLee and TJ, this thread has certainly been dragged into the toilet.

Posted by: Joel on July 20, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

joel,

We had the only poll that counts in November of 2004. That's why John Bolton is at the UN and John Robert and Sam Alito are on the supreme court.

You are as usual more than a day late and more than a dollar short.

Did you hear those polls were keeping Bush and Cheney from campaigning this year? Sure you did. You heard wrong. Both are in strong demand and very active. Each so far has raised more than double what they raised in 2002 and the GOP has 3x's as much cash on hand than Howard Dean and they're just warming up.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, can we at least get rid of the "Jews are running the world!" lunatics spamming the thread?

People should have read my previous post more carefully; I said: $200/bbl oil price SPIKES.

Yes, tar sands, oil shale, etc. become economically feasible at that level. It does NOT mean that we will immediately be able to use them as a sizable source.

If the supply of an essential commodity suddenly becomes restricted, there are other results aside from simple price increases.


Posted by: tzs on July 20, 2006 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Heh.

"Each so far has raised more than double what they raised in 2002 and the GOP has 3x's as much cash on hand than Howard Dean and they're just warming up."

Well, if this is what that money has bought them so far, I say 'full speed ahead':

"Of 1,002 U.S. adults surveyed in a telephone poll . . . 65% of Americans said Mr. Bush is doing an "only fair or poor" job . . .
With midterm elections less than four months away, the poll also asked respondents whether they would choose a Democratic or Republican candidate "if the election for Congress were held today." Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they would vote for the Democratic candidate, up from 41% in April, while 31% said they would vote for the Republican candidate, down from 37% in April."

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB115325521785410209-5LsiMBcgr1qoXbLwJ18LF_xa7Eo_20060818.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top

Great job!

Posted by: Joel on July 20, 2006 at 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Kindly take the cut-and-paste anti-Semitic rants and stuff 'em.

Posted by: Gregory on July 20, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Charlie, just STFU.

Posted by: Gregory on July 20, 2006 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

If he's an adult and is representative of the US population, then we're in real kimchee.

Count your curses friend because I am an adult and worst of all I'm with the largest single voting bloc, conservatives. We pick Presidents, Senators, Congressmen and Supreme Court Jistices.

I know you think yesterdays poll is your salvation but that's just as stupid today as any other mid-yr poll. It's interesting that GWB is alewady back up to 45% and the Democrats haven't started to campaign yet. Once they start GWB will add 10 to that number.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

" . . .GWB is alewady [sic] back up to 45% . . . "

Dang, rdw, you are just illiterate. No wonder the stuff you post is always wrong. Bushie has been mired in the 30's for months. The latest poll confirms this yet again:

"Of 1,002 U.S. adults surveyed in a telephone poll, 34% said Mr. Bush is doing an "excellent or pretty good" job as president, up a tick from 33% in June. By comparison, 65% of Americans said Mr. Bush is doing an "only fair or poor" job, down from 67% last month."

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB115325521785410209-5LsiMBcgr1qoXbLwJ18LF_xa7Eo_20060818.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top

Posted by: Joel on July 20, 2006 at 10:50 AM | PERMALINK

Do you honestly think that a new force, even leavened with EU troops, would take on the hard work to stop violations?

Yes.

That would mean, at some point, a credible use of force.

No kidding. Which is why the people pushing for such a force are pushing for it to have the capability and mandate to do that.

I honestly don't see Russian, German, French or Spanish troops doing that. Shoot at Hezbollah and take casualties?

Russian, German, French, and Spanish, Italian, and other troops from countries that have advocated for or indicated they might send troops as part of a stabilization force with a strong mandate have all shot at Islamist militants of various stripes and taken casualties in various places around the world in the last decade.

So your suggestion that they lack the will to do that in Lebanon is, it seems, without any basis.


Posted by: cmdicely on July 20, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Dang, rdw, you are just illiterate.

Illiterate, yes, and with the writing style, grammar and syntax of a developmentally disabled fourteen year old -- but, most important to remember, flat out insane. Clinically impaired. You're debating with the functional equivalent of a ranting homeless man standing on a soapbox and wearing a tinfoil tiara.

Posted by: Stefan on July 20, 2006 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

We have every one of your names and addresses.... It's people like you who are responsible for the holocaust.

What holocaust? That is just another Jew LIE.

Jew Math.

The HolyCo$t fable has a few math problems:

1948 Version of the fable:

Number of dead Jews = 6,000,000
Number of dead at Auschwitz = 4,000,000
Number of dead Jews at Auschwitz = 3,500,000
Number of dead Jews outside Auschwitz = 6,000,000 - 3,500,000 = 2,500,000

1990 Version of the fable:

Number of dead Jews = 6,000,000
Number of dead at Auschwitz = 1,500,000
Number of dead Jews at Auschwitz = 1,000,000
Number of dead Jews outside Auschwitz = 6,000,000 - 1,000,000 = 5,000,000

The problem is damn clear:

In 1948 Jews claim that 2,500,000 died outside Auschwitz.
In 1990 Jews claim that 5,000,000 died outside Auschwitz.

This is a result of their reducing the number of Auschwitz dead (by some 2.5 million), but refusing to reduce the overall 6,000,000 claimed Jew deaths.

So are Jews NUTS, or just NOT very good at math.

Plaque from Auschwitz showing 4 million "victims".

This plaque was on display at Auschwitz from 1948 until 1989 (note the "4 million" victims).

Plaque from Auschwitz showing 1.5 million "victims".
Plaque from Auschwitz showing 1.5 million "victims" (Deutsch).

These plaques are currently on display at Auschwitz (English and German).

Note the dramatically reduced number of victims, now only 1.5 million (anderthalb millionen).

A casual reduction in the number of deaths by some 2.5 million.

Deaths at Auschwitz drop by a whopping 2.5 million, but 6,000,000 dead Jews, remains the same.

Posted by: HonestLee on July 20, 2006 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Can't someone do something about this anti-Semitic filth? Must we be subjected to this garbage?

Posted by: Stefan on July 20, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Russian, German, French, and Spanish, Italian, and other troops from countries that have advocated for or indicated they might send troops as part of a stabilization force with a strong mandate have all shot at Islamist militants of various stripes and taken casualties in various places around the world in the last decade.

Not to mention that German and French troops are currently fighting alongside us in Afghanistan, and Spanish and Italian forces were until recently in Iraq (actually, the Italians may still be there). And the Russian willingness to shoot at Islamist militants in such places as Chechnya and, before that, Afghanistan, is quite well-documented.

Posted by: Stefan on July 20, 2006 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

When our everyday, garden-variety rot (rdw, Charlie, etc.) gives way to pathological anti-semitism, well, it's just damn ugly.

And Charlie, don't take comfort in 'garden-variety rot'. You're a disgrace to intelligent life.

Posted by: obscure on July 20, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Whatever you say, Edith.

Posted by: Thomas on July 20, 2006 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Where the hell is the site moderator on this HonestLee trollery?

Posted by: brendan on July 20, 2006 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Well, if this is what that money has bought them so far, I say 'full speed ahead':

You are dumb. They haven't been spending it. That's why they have so much more. They're not even sure where they're going to spend it.

The little pissing match between Dean and Schumer and between Dean and Emanuel is that Dean has spent all of the money and there's no reserve for tight races. The GOP has reserve coming out it's ears and they're still raising cash.

Plus the voters aren't going to vote for the party. They vote for a candidate. Those generic polls are useless. It does look like the Dems will get one victory. You'll toss out leiberman.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin: Your "what do I know...sounds like a pretty plausible answer" comment is disgraceful. What did I know in 2002 about Iraq? Quite enough, and that, along with a decent upbringing, was enough for me to know that starting a war is immoral. Don't let "experts" muddle your thinking and the thinking of the impressionable people who read your site.

Posted by: brendan on July 20, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

The problem of the internet: where it used to be you'd find the wackos ranting on street corners they now access blogs.

yep, time to emigrate to somewhere sane....

rdw, have fun in your future US. Somehow I don't think it's going to turn out to be the utopia you think it will be.

Posted by: tzs on July 20, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, time to move on. rdw and Charlie/Doug M/Thomas belong with the Nazis--I don't.

Posted by: Joel on July 20, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Do you think that Jews should be jailed for so-called HolyCo$t denial.

The famous historian, David Irving, has recently been jailed in Austria for questioning the number of Jews who died in the HolyCo$t fable.

So,... I guess the Jews who surreptitiously reduced the number of dead at Auschwitz by 2.5 million should also be jailed, right?

Posted by: HonestLee on July 20, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Whew, I'm glad that most threads here don't spin off like this.

Little did I know that when I started at the top that I was entering The Twilight Zone.

Posted by: Bob M on July 20, 2006 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Somehow I don't think it's going to turn out to be the utopia you think it will be.


It's always Morning in America my friend. Today is a great day and there are even better days in front of us. There always are. That's why we are the United States of America and people are so anxious to come here.

We are what everyone else wants to be.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

HonestLee -- Yeah, I agree! What's the deal with the Jews!?! I wish they'd get their stories straight.

Posted by: mjk on July 20, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

"It's always Morning in America my friend. Today is a great day and there are even better days in front of us. There always are."

No, it's high noon here in American, the gunslingers are in the streets, the cowboys have taken over the mayors office, the cattle is running scared, and the dam heat wave is making the fair people sweat!
As for tomorrow, I hear tell from the Grangers book that it's more of the same.

Geez, rdw, could you be less of a putz?

Posted by: sheerahkahn on July 20, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

"HonestLee -- Yeah, I agree! What's the deal with the Jews!?! I wish they'd get their stories straight."

Jews very really get their stories straight.
Lying can't be as easy as you would think.

Posted by: HonestLee on July 20, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

So your suggestion that they lack the will to do that in Lebanon is, it seems, without any basis.

Your suggesting they have either the will or the means is preposterous. A tiny fraction of troops from these nations have seen any action and aside from Russia that action is very, very little. Their militaries are grossly inexperienced and have never coordinated with each other. It might take them 3 years to agree to a command structure.

That doesn't even address the fact Israel doesn't trust any of the nations you've identified except perhaps Italy and the fact the person suggesting this plan, Jacques Chirac, is the man they trust the least.

In fact Chirac makes the suggestion comfortable with the knowledge France would be the last nations trusted to play a productive role in the region. This is a PR stunt, nothing more

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

No, it's high noon here in American, the gunslingers are in the streets

They're not gunslingers. They're police aides. Can carry laws have delivered a very nice drop in crime in those areas. How odd the liberals are still trying to fight for gun gontrol when the NRA already won the battle and the only places seeing crime zoom are big liberal cities like Philly where they're among the few who still believe in gun control.

This is looking to be proof of evolution.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK
A tiny fraction of troops from these nations have seen any action and aside from Russia that action is very, very little.

Only a tiny fraction of the troops from any of these countries would be deployed.

Their militaries are grossly inexperienced and have never coordinated with each other.

"Grossly inexperienced" lacks any clear objective measure, but it is factually inaccurate that the nations involved have never coordinated with eachother; most are NATO members and have coordinate through NATO, participating in NATO and EU missions in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

Now, its true, that Russia hasn't done a lot of coordination with the NATO/EU nations, though they did do some in the context of KFOR.

It might take them 3 years to agree to a command structure.

That's completely ludicrous.

That doesn't even address the fact Israel doesn't trust any of the nations you've identified except perhaps Italy and the fact the person suggesting this plan, Jacques Chirac, is the man they trust the least.

Unless the stabilization force is to deploy in Israel, its less important to ask whether Israel trusts the involved nations than whether it is willing to go to war with them if the UNSC, under a binding resolution, with full US support (remember, this discussion started with me responding to the question of what should the US do...) and Lebanese cooperation inserts them into Southern Lebanon to deal with Hezbollah and enforce a separation and cease-fire.

Trust can be established with actions.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 20, 2006 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

This is scary:

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1153291959920&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Jul. 20, 2006 17:23
Lebanese Army may join forces with Hizbullah
By JPOST.COM STAFF

The Lebanese Minister of Defense warned Israel Thursday that if IDF ground forces are sent into southern Lebanon, Lebanese troops will fight along with the Hizbullah against Israel.

Posted by: Neil' on July 20, 2006 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

"They're not gunslingers. They're police aides. Can carry laws have delivered a very nice drop in crime in those areas. How odd the liberals are still trying to fight for gun gontrol when the NRA already won the battle and the only places seeing crime zoom are big liberal cities like Philly where they're among the few who still believe in gun control."

Yeah, bleed me that statistic when a gang banger caps your @ss with a 9. Sure, lots of witnesses, and I'm sure the area will become a free-fire zone with lots of "oops, I missed", but you're happy butt will still be down.

"This is looking to be proof of evolution."

Yeah, I would agree, especially with your mentality, I don't forsee a prolong existence in this world for anyone.

Posted by: sheerahkahn on July 20, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Yup, street corner wackos....I get the feeling that rdw will be ranting about how America is just the BESTEST country ever and it's morning-and-sweetness-and-light all the way down....

Hope he enjoys $200/bbl oil if this Iran thingie goes through.


Posted by: tzs on July 20, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

I'm retarded.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

I paid good money to have that paper mill bombed to ruble. Next year you'll buy exclusively from me. It's the capitalist way you commie pinko faggot.

Also next year your job will be outsourced to Lebonon. Why not - they're well educated and will soon be very very poor. Can you say "Hello, my name is Daffney, may I help you". Working on the accents already

We've gotten so good at it that we can revise history before it even happens - been planning this one few years (10).

Do wee own your asses or what.

BTW - Still think the civil war was about freeing the slaves.

God is making me write this.

Posted by: nicollo MacPlato on July 20, 2006 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Just look at the coattails of our wildly popular and beloved president(34% approval rating)--


With midterm elections less than four months away, the poll also asked respondents whether they would choose a Democratic or Republican candidate "if the election for Congress were held today." Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they would vote for the Democratic candidate, up from 41% in April, while 31% said they would vote for the Republican candidate, down from 37% in April.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think its at all surprising that Lebanon has declared that their army will resist an invasion.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 20, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: Whatever you think of the applicability of standard national rights here, it would be a mess in practice.

Posted by: Neil' on July 20, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, check out George Will's relatively scathing take today (? - in my local paper) on neconism.

Posted by: Neil' on July 20, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK
cmdicely: Whatever you think of the applicability of standard national rights here, it would be a mess in practice.

What would be a mess in practice (as has been amply demonstrated in the past) is Israel invading Lebanon.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 20, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

When I read wacked out anti-semetic screeds like those of "TJ" and "HonestLee" I can never tell if they are real or plants by fanatics who are pro-Israeli. Their point is to make the slightest questioning of Israel's eternal status as the identified "innocent victim" look like the most outrageous anti-semetism by association. Coupled with learned racism against Arabs in the US, there is no more effective propaganda for getting the US public to keep coughing up money to the Israelis for carrying out their same old policies.

Posted by: ChetBob on July 20, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

It might take them 3 years to agree to a command structure.

France and Russia, presumably the two largest potential contributers are not part of the NATO defense establishment and the fact is in such an operation coordination is by far the most important aspect.

Leaving aside Russia which exercises very different standards and practices the other countries have virtually ZERO experience in offensive operations. They have served as guards in Serbia and Afghanistan and exactly where is elsewhere? France has had a couple/few embarrasing episodes in Africa with some nations two generations removed from the stone age.

The language barrier itself is a huge impediment.

The fact is there's no role for France or Russia unless Hezbollah agrees to withdrawal from lebanon. This is not going to end in a simple cease fire and everything goes back to the way it was so hezbollah can import longer range missles to launch over the heads of any Int'l border quard.

If Iran and hezbollah agree to leave the force isn't needed. If Iran and Hezbollah decide they stay in Lebanon the French won't dare go.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Pssst.... The Jews are on our side this time.
Save the rants for the club or the next CCC meeting.
Thanks

Posted by: GOP on July 20, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Unless the stabilization force is to deploy in Israel, its less important to ask whether Israel trusts the involved nations than whether it is willing to go to war with them if the UNSC, under a binding resolution, with full US support (remember, this discussion started with me responding to the question of what should the US do...)

My apologies. I was operating under the impression you thought this was actually a practical possibility. GWB will not force such a thing on Israel. There are some things which could separate Israel and the US. France and Russia are ont among those things.


and Lebanese cooperation inserts them into Southern Lebanon to deal with Hezbollah and enforce a separation and cease-fire.

There is no chance France or any EU nation enters lebanon without the permission and approval of the Lebanese govt and Iran.


Trust can be established with actions.

Israel and France have a very long and extremely unproductive history. The French are simply not capable of the actions that would be necessary to restore trust. Even of they had the means they lack the will. You've read far too much into this. Jacques has 20% poll numbers, is the lamest of lame ducks and stands alone in this world. Gerhard has disappeared and Merkel doesn't agree with him much. This is Bill clinton after Monica trying to do anything to get a legacy. This a stunt.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

What would be a mess in practice (as has been amply demonstrated in the past) is Israel invading Lebanon.

It had to happen eventually. I agree with you.

Israel probably will insert some troops into lebanon but only for special short term search and kill missions. A large, permanent invasion plays into an insurgents strength. There's no need. Israel can level Southern Lebanon from the air if need be and by using artillary.

Israel and the USA have vastly superior targeting capability via satellite and drone technology to provide targeting data for increasingly lethel weaponry. Israeli gameplayers sitting at consoles can do more killing than a tank and with less risk. This is setting up to be a much different type of war. Think of Afghanistan where US special forces and almost unlimited armament at their disposal. Even today the classic battleplan for troops in Afghanistan coming across hostile forces is rather than engage to define the target and upload the coordinates to a jet or drone and wain for them to rain fire.

Too bad Clinton starved anti-missle technology. Israel might have a shot at better defending itself.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK
France and Russia, presumably the two largest potential contributers are not part of the NATO defense establishment and the fact is in such an operation coordination is by far the most important aspect.

Both have been involved in military operations with NATO forces recently; the Russians in KFOR, the French in a number of places, including Afghanistan.

Most of the countries (all but Russia, that I know of) that have discussed participating in a Lebanon stabilization force are involved in EUFOR, the EU-led force that replaced SFOR in Bosnia.

To say that they have no experience coordinating with eachother is just stupid.

Leaving aside Russia which exercises very different standards and practices the other countries have virtually ZERO experience in offensive operations.

Again, untrue. For instance, non-US NATO forces, including France, have been involved in offensive operations in Afghanistan.

If Iran and hezbollah agree to leave the force isn't needed.

I disagree that agreement by Hezbollah (much less Iran) is necessary, though of course its the safest choice. However, even with agreement, a force capable of both monitoring and acting is necessary to secure any withdrawal and make sure it remains permanent, unless you think somehow the Lebanese government is instantly going to radically increase its capacity.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 20, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Eliminate Hezbollah?

Hmmm? Try changing their minds.

How do you do that?

Eliminate the conditions the germinate the thought. How do you do that?

That is the question, in there in lies the rub.

Posted by: bubbles on July 20, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

GWB will not force such a thing on Israel.

The question was what should the US do not what is GWB willing to do.

The correct answer to the former almost never even overlaps with the correct answer to the latter.

There is no chance France or any EU nation enters lebanon without the permission and approval of the Lebanese govt and Iran.

The Lebanese government is the asking for a robust international force, so that's not a problem. As to Iran, well, I disagree with your assessment.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 20, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

France has had a couple/few embarrasing episodes in Africa with some nations two generations removed from the stone age.

And the curtain is pulled back to reveal the ugly little rascist behind it....

The language barrier itself is a huge impediment.

Yet that is somehow, miraculously, not true of "Coalition" forces in Iraq.


Posted by: Stefan on July 20, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Hang on, tzs. rdw will be back shortly to explain to us how the supply of cheap oil is endless, thanks to Canadian tar sands and oil shale, how the Canadian economy will be destroyed by Kyoto, and how Bush has inked a trade deal with Oman that will put China back on its heels.

Now, Now Joel. You are entitled to your own opinion. Not your own facts. never suggested or hinted kyoto would do a shred of economic damage to Canada. I said Kyoto is going to make fools out of Canada and the twits who designed the piece of garbage.

I also said Canada will be the worlds number one polluter as measured by Kyoto. And it will be by a wide margin. I said the USA will come significantly closer to meeting Kyoto limits despite the fact we said from the getgo we were not signing that trash.

If Canada decides to stay in Kyoto they will be required to pay heavy fines with the delicious irony of paying them to an even worse polluter, Russia. Only a liberal could have designed this disaster.

Nor did I suggest the trade deal with Oman was significant or could put China back on it's heels. Oman is representative of GWBs intense and mostly sucessful efforts to approve a large number of trade deals. China will not be put back on it's heels. China will be contained. Their military will never match ours. When Japan removes article 9 of their constitution and starts expanding their defense they will be a very, very powerful offset in the Asian region to both Russia and China. While they might have a smaller army it's likely to be far more lethal. This will take a decade but the path has been set by NK. Japan will not be a patsy. Neither will india. These three large Democracies along with Australia willb e far superior to Russia and China.

The canadian tar sands are quite huge and will help alleviate supply pressures. Let's hope american/canadian ingenuity can continue to drive down the costs and raise the yields for Tar Sands, Ethanal, coal gasification, shale oil (the worst of the bunch) and plain efficiency. We are problem solvers. This will be solved.

BTW: It was nice to see in yesterdays weekly petroleum report annual demand was down 1.7% over the last 4 weeks. "if" this is representative for 2006 this drop in demand will compound with 2005's 1.9% decrease. Add in 8% compound GDP growth and we'll have had a stunning 11% improvment in energy efficiency nd we're just getting started.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

The Lebanese government is the asking for a robust international force, so that's not a problem

Yes it is. They are asking for them to come in and stop Israel, not Hezbollah. So they're not close to going in.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

The question was what should the US do not what is GWB willing to do

I did come to understand that after reading your last post. Clearly your opinion is not remotely popular with GWB or the party in power. It's a non-starter and even just as an academic exercise fairly useless. How many angels can fit on the head of a pin?

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Seems that the Bush administration, though dragged "kicking and screaming", may have come around on the stabilization force issue.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 20, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Yet that is somehow, miraculously, not true of "Coalition" forces in Iraq

Vastly different situation with clear leadership in the coalition versus no leadership in this new coalition. It will be a committee of incompetents. Committee's are bad enough. Adding France can only be a disaster.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK
Clearly your opinion is not remotely popular with GWB or the party in power.

While that's hardly uncommon, it seems to have stopped being true in this case; from the link I provided in my prior post:

Although wary of multinational peacekeeping operations, the Bush administration is working with allies to find a way to insert a robust military force and a civilian international presence in Lebanon to strengthen the frail government and break the grip of Hezbollah, U.S. and foreign diplomats say.

. . .

First proposed by the United Nations, the international peacekeeping effort has become the focal point of American diplomacy, which has been limited since fighting broke out a week ago between Israel and Hezbollah.

. . .

Israel, often wary of allowing others a role in matters affecting its security, thinks the peacekeeping mission could work. Though some officials at first criticized the idea, the government now views it as "something we'll support," said one Israeli official who requested anonymity when discussing the pending diplomatic efforts.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 20, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Reminds me of the bumper sticker; War doesn't decide who is right, only who is left.
I would think that the only real existential threat to Israel is a coup in Pakistan. It would seem the more they dis the Muslim world, the more likely this becomes a possibility.
To change behavior, the usual theory is to use a carrot and a stick. It only works to use just a stick when you can kill off the opposition. It would take a lot more atomic bombs to kill all the Muslims, then it would to make Israel unlivable.

Posted by: brodix on July 20, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Eliminate the conditions the germinate the thought. How do you do that?

This is the problem with Islamic fundamentalism. They have an entire generation taught in Jihad. They have to stop and re-educate. They have no intention. If those indoctured are serious we have to kill them before they kill us and we may need to also kill the teachers. There are some things only war can solve. If this is the case let's get it over with.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Although wary of multinational peacekeeping operations, the Bush administration is working with allies to find a way to insert a robust military force and a civilian international presence in Lebanon to strengthen the frail government and break the grip of Hezbollah, U.S. and foreign diplomats say.

This changes nothing.

GWB would love it if a robust force moves in and moves hezbollah out. That's the goal. Israel will stop right now and love it even more. They're the ones getting hit by missles and dying.

It's a nice thought. Is there any chance of Hezbollah leaving?

Of course not.

I'll kiss your ass if Jacques Chirac sends a robust force into the border area and chases hezbollah out of Lebanon.

Any effort by the UN, EU or anyone else to get Israel to stop 1st will be ignored and it will destroy the trust necessary to propose a security area. Any effort which can only result in a cease fire so Hezbollah can rearm willbe ignored. Any serious effort to remove Hezbollah will be supported by GWb. It will be a dealstopper for the EU AND UN.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

It would take a lot more atomic bombs to kill all the Muslims, then it would to make Israel unlivable.


If the Islamic world could eliminate israel they'd do it tomorrow. They can't. The fact Israel can't eliminate every muslim is hardly an important fact. The fact they could eliminate every Persian in Iran means Iran won't be attacking Israel nor will they give a bomb to someone else who might. I think it's also a given Muslims will not be visiting Mecca or Medina for another 15,000 years or so.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

RUSSIANS WIN
New Zealands Kyoto problems received little notice last year, but the Protocol of the Damned is still an issue:


A conference of energy experts has been told implementing the Kyoto Protocol would impose a huge cost on New Zealand.

This country has agreed to return net emissions of greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2012.

Veteran energy consultant, John Beckett, says successful implementation of the protocol could set the Government back by $3 billion in buying carbon credits on the international market. Most of that money would go to Russia.


Rubles from NZ government rubes. Sweet deal.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

ALERT: Kofi Annan has just called for a ceasefire. If this is upthread somewhere, my apologies.

Posted by: nepeta on July 20, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Sometimes the world sucks, indeed.

Israeli aggression on Lebanon

Gruesome pictures, not work friendly.

Posted by: hey on July 20, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

rdw wrote: I said Kyoto is going to make fools out of Canada and the twits who designed the piece of garbage.

You are stupendously ignorant about Kyoto and about global warming itself.

The only thing you are good for is parading your willful ignorance and grotesque dishonesty.

You certainly have every right to your hilarious right-wing triumphalism. After all, Dick Cheney is, indeed, quite powerful, and you worship his brain-dead sock-puppet George W. Bush as your greatest hero.

However, Dick Cheney obtained his power through blatant fraud and criminality and his every action increases the current and future misery and suffering of all humanity.

That's what you are celebrating. Thus you are an idolator of evil.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 20, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

A History of Hizbollah's Rocket Capability appears broadly consistent with Kevin's post.

Recommended link:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/para/hizballah-rockets.htm

In 1995, their rockets were launched from improvised static launchers.

Starting around 2001, they improved their arsenal with Iranian help.

Posted by: Measure for Measure on July 20, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: However, even with agreement, a force capable of both monitoring and acting is necessary to secure any withdrawal and make sure it remains permanent, unless you think somehow the Lebanese government is instantly going to radically increase its capacity.

I agree with you there, but is a U.N. force likely to be either capable of monitoring or of acting? Say for example that Iran ships more missiles to Hezbollah: is the U.N force likely to learn before Hezbollah has a sizeable cache? I don't think so. Then what will they do? Will they act to destroy the cache, or will they just complain and condemn? I think they are unlikely to act. You are basically pinning your hopes on a U.N. force that will be more effective than the NATO forces in Bosnia -- not impossible, but how likely is it?

Posted by: republicrat on July 20, 2006 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

You know, the UN is the mechanism we (most of the world) have created to handle situations like this. And the UN can succeed when the Security Council comes to a hard and fast agreement.

In this case, the United States would probably have to take a leadership role in supporting a UN resolution. But who expects GWB to exhibit leadership, especially international leadership? He probably cant and wont and thats a shame.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on July 20, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

rdw,

The Iranians don't have the bomb(yet), but the Pakistanis do. While they may not particularly care about the Iraqis, Palestinians, or Lebanese, there is a very strong Islamic basis to the country, including the military. They get pressure from India, refugees from Afganistan and money from Saudi Arabia.
The point is, there already is an Islamic bomb and there is simply no way of telling what it would take for them to "lose" a few. Some cargo ship coming through the Suez Canal opens up a couple of hatches, fires off a few medium range missles.....It's not something that will happen tomorrow,but at the rate the world is coming apart at the seams and what will it be like in several years?
On a strategic scale, what happens when the US finally maxes out its credit cards and the money we give to Israel starts to look optional?
Personally, I think Monotheism is a philosophy that's run its course, anyway. The absolute is basis, not an apex, so the spiritual absolute would be the essential presence of being that we rise out of and fall back into, not some all-knowing being we fell from and seek to return to. Intelligence is an emergent property of this elemental awareness, rather then the other way around.
The advantage of monothiesm over dualism is that it's a far more effective political tool. You can't get people riled up to go to war with a philosophy that always looks at both sides of the coin. The problem is that you can only push so far, before the pushback gets too big to handle.

Posted by: brodix on July 20, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

And I should add that Israel would almost certainly be against it.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on July 20, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

brodix,

what are you babbling about?

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

You know, the UN is the mechanism we (most of the world) have created to handle situations like this. And the UN can succeed when the Security Council comes to a hard and fast agreement.

Except it's never woked. It's been almost 60 years. Speaking of which, you must be at least 60. The only people still with a shred of confidence are those over 60 who think of the promise of the UN and ignore the reality. Few people under the page of 45 have any idea what the UN does.

On Fox they're playing Kofi calling for a cease fire whle noting that throughout this ordeal Kofi has yet to refer to Resolution 1559. This is his resolution which requires hezbollah to disarm. Kofi is pathetic. The UN is pathetic. As long as we have Fox we get a proper lesson in reality. I there's anything more useless than a UN resolution bame it.

The bad news for you Jim is you are of a bygone era. Support for the UN in the USA is as low as Chiracs support in France. It's in the toilet. There is a difference however. Chirac is out of office next spring. While next summer Fox will still be bashng the UN. It was always nice of ABC, NBC and CBS to ignore the constant failures. So much for the reality based community. The fact is a majority of Americans bypass the MSM and the UN is toast. 20% will be a high-water mark in the future.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK
I agree with you there, but is a U.N. force likely to be either capable of monitoring or of acting?

Yes.

Heck, UNIFIL isn't that bad at monitoring, and its tiny and has an extremely limited mandate.

Say for example that Iran ships more missiles to Hezbollah: is the U.N force likely to learn before Hezbollah has a sizeable cache?

Since the present proposals under discussion include both a sizable military deployment in Southern Lebanon plus a (probably larger, probably non-military) inspection operation on the borders and the ports/airports and elsewhere in the country to identify and intercept weapons, I'd say they have a pretty good chance.

Then what will they do? Will they act to destroy the cache, or will they just complain and condemn?

Yes, that's the whole point of a larger, well-armed force with a mandate for action.

You are basically pinning your hopes on a U.N. force that will be more effective than the NATO forces in Bosnia -- not impossible, but how likely is it?

The NATO-led IFOR and SFOR and subsequent EU EUFOR-Althea operations in Bosnia have been fairly effective. The previous pre-Dayton UNPROFOR operation, not a NATO or NATO-led operation, had some serious problems.

But, yes, given that many of the likely-to-be-involved nations have experience in those missions, and/or KFOR, and/or Iraq and Afghanistan, and/or MONUC since then, I don't think its that unreasonable to expect better efficiency through greater experience.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 20, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

But who expects GWB to exhibit leadership, especially international leadership? He probably cant and wont and thats a shame.

You really are far out of touch if you think our problems at the UN have anything to do with GWB. Given the choice between pulling out of the UN and cutting taxes conservatives would pull out of the UN. This is a core value.

The UN isn't the solution. It's the problem. GWB has been brilliant in bypassing the UN with coalitions and a multi-prong approach to bi-lateral and tri-lateral relations. He's signed a series of security and trade deals with a large number of nations. Even if the doha trade round fails the US will still be in excellent shape having signed a series of trade deals.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicey,

You are describing a totally different mission than any the UN has ever attempted. I could be wrong but my understanding is the UN is prohibited from taking offensive operations.

It is extremely doubtful China would allow such an operation unless Lebanon, Syria and Iran agreed and they will not agree to the removal of Hezbollah from Lebanon.

If Syria or Iran wanted Hezbollah out they would already be out and we would not need the UN and Israel would be quiet.

If the UN went in without Iran's approval they'll be slaughtered like lambs. No nation would put their soldiers in that position.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK
You are describing a totally different mission than any the UN has ever attempted.

No more so than almost every UN mission is different than past missions.

I could be wrong but my understanding is the UN is prohibited from taking offensive operations.

You are quite wrong. The UN can undertake any operation the UNSC deems is in the interest of international peace and security.

It is extremely doubtful China would allow such an operation unless Lebanon, Syria and Iran agreed and they will not agree to the removal of Hezbollah from Lebanon.

The removal of Hezbollah from Lebanon is not an issue. The disarmament of its armed wing, OTOH, is. And Lebanon has already agreed to it, though the central government lacks the force to do anything about it.

And I disagree with your assessment of the conditions on which China will cooperate, and, further, disagree with your assessment of the Iranian-Syrian position. I agree they don't want Hezbollah out where they get nothing in return, but an international peacekeeping force in the present environment (with nations criticizing both Hezbollah's provocative acts and Israel's disproportionate response) is a something they can take as a kind of win (and yet, so can Israel; both sides get to sell the intervention to their domestic population of an endorsement of the wrongness of the other side, and their both right).

If the UN went in without Iran's approval they'll be slaughtered like lambs.

Maybe if they went into Iran without Iran's approval; Iran is not committing that kind of resources to protected Hezbollah (and its questionable that it even has the capacity to do so, without doing something that would be rather obvious and taken rightly as an imminent threat that would provoke massive retaliation before it was able to strike, like moving significant numbers of heavy forces through Syria to Lebanon.)


Posted by: cmdicely on July 20, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

I think somebody needs to turn off Fox News and disregard what that network says about Kofi. And somebody might note the success the UN had in Iraq, destroying weapons, then later pointing out to a certain President that they were not finding any.

OTOH, somebody could choose to be willfully ignorant.

Posted by: little ole jim from red country on July 20, 2006 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

You are describing a totally different mission than any the UN has ever attempted.

No more so than almost every UN mission is different than past missions.

Not true. The vast majority of UN missions are peacekeeping operations initiated AFTER the end of hostilities. Blue helmets are nothing more than crossing guards authorized to take defensive actions but not offensive actions. IN most cases when threatened they abandon their posts. They do not fight.

The UN can undertake any operation the UNSC deems is in the interest of international peace and security

But there's the rub isn't it? I'll stand corrected regarding a formal limitation however there is the practical limitation of a China totally opposed to interferring in the 'internal' actions of any nation without the permission of that nation.

The removal of hezbollah is THE issue. This is a terrorist organization committed to the destruction of Israel. This is not going to be a cease fire so they can rearm and start the process all over. Hezbollah has to go or there is no point to the exercise until and unless Iarael feels it has finished it's operations and the crossing guards might be useful.

Iran is not committing that kind of resources to protected Hezbollah (and its questionable that it even has the capacity to do so, without doing something that would be rather obvious and taken rightly as an imminent threat that would provoke massive retaliation before it was able to strike, like moving significant numbers of heavy forces through Syria to Lebanon.)

Iran created hezbollah and provides their arms and money. Iran doesn't work through armies. They fund Hezbollah and Hamas so they can do the job of armies. There won't be a coalition force capable of massive retaliation. There won't be a force with the will or the ability. The UN can't produce a coalition without the USA to fight a conventional war. They absolutely could never fight a counter-insurgency.

The UN can provide border guards. They can't defend against IEDs or suicide bombers or missle launches from civilian centers. No European nation will consider such a suggestion

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

And somebody might note the success the UN had in Iraq, destroying weapons, then later pointing out to a certain President that they were not finding any.

Except the UN didn't have any success in Iraq. Saddam toyed with the inspectors constantly over a decade under Clinton and GWB. Had he cooperated we never would have attacked.

what weapons did the UN destroy? They didn't find any. Among the many problems is they didn't even find the chemical weapons they had documented in previous inspections and we agreed Saddam owned at one point. If they had been destroyed, which hopefully is what happened, Iraq could easily have provided the evidence. There's residue. They couldn't even do that. Hans could not find the weapons Hans knew that had at one point and Hans could not verify they had been destroyed.

Hans was pretty much useless. There's a good chance they were destroyed. Too bad Saddam cold not prove it and we could not trust Saddam. He'd still be bribing the French, Germans and Russians if he had.

The fact we never found anything isn't significant. It was always about getting the full cooperation of Saddam with no crap. Just like Moamar provided. In a post 9/11 world Saddam had no choice. He didn't cooperate. He had to go.

That's not to deny this is a major bug up the EU's ass. That's their problem. They were not a factor then. They are not a factor now. It's doubtful they'll ever be a factor. This fantazing about a robust EU force is fantastic. Fantastic as in beyond belief. France hasn't defended itself since 1917 and now they're going to defend Israel. Please!

BTW: Fox rules!

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

But what good will that do? Wasn't it the guerilla-style Hezbollah of the 1980s and 1990s that bled the IDF occupation force sufficiently to drive it out of south Lebanon in 2000? Why won't they be able to simply do the same to whatever force tries to occupy the area this time? They've already done it once, and certainly will have the local population on their side again.
It seems to me that the best the Israelis can hope for out of this is to buy some time -- degrade Hezbollah's military capabilities for a while, until they can rebuild it. But what a cost... I don't quite get it.

Posted by: twc on July 20, 2006 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

As for "spam" notthere posted more of that above than I. Is he Charlie too?

Posted by: Thomas on July 20, 2006 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Exactly where?

Idiot.

Posted by: notthere on July 20, 2006 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

They've already done it once, and certainly will have the local population on their side again.

That's an excellent point which further underscores the silly nature of the proposal. It's even worse when you consider the fact the liberals are suggesting an EU force, with zero experience, can perform anywhere near as well as the IDF. That's simply not conceivable.

What Israel gets out of this is to deliver a beating to Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah and Lebanon to remind them of the cost of the game. So far it's been much worse than expected when you consider the political damage. Just a a starter the other arab states did not support them. This is a sea change for the Palestinians. They were not supported and have been all but ignored recently. They can't get on the news.

They have had no power, no running water, no sewage and no sympathy. They've even lost Germany and Canada. GWB has given Israel carte blanche, a 1st for a US President, and seen his polls rise as a result. This has been all bad for Palestine.

The Iranians and Syrians learned they are alone in the Middle East. The Saudi's put a fatwa out on those who support Hezbollah opening a severe rift in the muslim world. The lebanese learn their faux neutrality won't work. They are responsible for what happens in their borders. They have to understand they must evict Hezbollah to have any shot at lasting peace and prosperity.

Israel learns it has to prepare better and buys time. We need to provide them more sophisticated equipment including anti-missle shields. We need to collaborate on satellite spy technology as well as drone technology. Israel will need to be able to fight it's own insurgency using drones to seek and kill the terror leaders. Israel may even get a better border.

Best case scenario for Israel is Hezbollah has to leave lebanon. Worst case is status quo.

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK
Hans was pretty much uselessBTW: Fox rules! rdw at 8:32 PM
Hans was correct in every regard; Bush was wrong in every claim. Scott Ritter was right in every statement; Bush, Cheney, and Powell were wrong. IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei was correct; the Bush administration wrong.

Has any American president ever seem as out-of-touch, clueless, and hapless before rapidly disintegrating diplomatic disasters around the world?
Even Carter during the hostage crisis would go on national tv and report the progress and status of the situation. He explained why he didn't want a military operation, but when one was begun and failed, he took responsibility.
Every time the media would begin one of the RNC sponsored witchhunts, he would act presidential showing that the world and world leaders had respect for him and the US.
Bush acts clueless not knowing what to do or where to turn because all of his diplomatic positions have proven to be counter productive failures. Tough talk, small deeds; and, with the American military's utter failure in the quagmire of Iraq, he can't even make a credible macho threat.
Bush has made America the hated laughing-stock around the world. Go Bush! Go Bush lickspittles!


Posted by: Mike on July 20, 2006 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

Bush has made America the hated laughing-stock around the world.

What's the matter Mike? Did your French friends remind you of your lack of sophistication? Afraid you're not popular anymore?

No criticism better defines the gulf between liberals and conservatives. It's incomprehensible to a conservative why anyone would give a crap what the Europeans think. European opinion it utterly meaningless and if it did have any value it would be as a contrary indicator. If they say turn right then turn left.

Liberals on the other hand seem to weep if they disappoint their European cousins. It's so pathetic. Grow a spine!

You are obviously a special case. Only a liberal could possibly think Carter gained respect for the USA during the 444 day Iranian hostage crises. It was the lowest moment in US history and we're still paying in the middle east for his ineptitude.

I will admit one good thing came from Carter's disaster of a Presidency. There's no way an authentic conservative could have been elected in 1980 otherwise!

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

What Israel gets out of this is to deliver a beating to Hamas, Fatah, Hezbollah and Lebanon to remind them of the cost of the game...

We need to provide them...equipment including anti-missle shields...to collaborate on satellite spy technology...drone technology. Israel will need to be able to fight it's own insurgency using drones to seek and kill the terror leaders. Israel may even get a better border....

Posted by: rdw on July 20, 2006 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

You asked ealier for different ideas. I guess I was right. Here you go on the same old boring line.

So if Israel keeps doing what has failed to gain them security these last 50 years, but more of it, success is just around the corner. Kill and trample a few more people, but more so. You should be in the DoD with Rumsfeld. Your strategic perception and originality is brilliant.

And our support of the Israelis doesn't already hinder US independent action enough? You want to climb in bed with them? You are the enabler giving the addict indefinite and unlimited access to his fix. And everyone else, including the Israelis, think they are perfectly capable of looking after themselves, if misdirected.

Oh, Yeah! You know about the Middle East. You've got it all figured out. Oh, right! From the fount of all correct thinking, Faux Spews and all the other one-minded sources.

Posted by: notthere on July 20, 2006 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

Pssst.... The Jews are on our side this time.
Save the rants for the club or the next CCC meeting.
Thanks

Posted by: GOP on July 20, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Don't confuse Jews with Zionists.

I'm an American Jew and I resent like hell what the Israelis and Bush are doing.

I've lost family to terrorism, long before 9/11. I've known for decades that it's the citizens who pay with our lives for crappy policies of the George Bushes. George Bush and Dick Cheney don't fly commercial. Their kids will never have risk their lives in the military because there's no other job available to them.

We knew what a mistake Bush's Iraq war was going to be, and we got shouted down. We knew that there was a delicate balance between the Shei'a and the Sunni, and it was best for the whole world to keep them equally empowered. We knew that the way to bring everybody out into sanity was by lifting people out of poverty around the world and educating them. That isn't going to happen now. George Bush broke the bank.

Has anybody here called his congressman lately? Are we all sitting back and watching like it's a football game? Don't wait for the election. If it's rigged, after the election will be too late. Bush will tell everybody he's got another mandate, and Republicans will be stripping the remnants of what's left.

We're in trouble, and we're the only ones who can right this ship.

Call your congressmen and senators, tell them to stop Bush from widening this war to Iran and Syria, get your family and friends to, too. Go to protest rallies, march, walk preceincts, volunteer to work at the polls in November.

They're doing this in your name and mine. Don't let them get away with it.

Posted by: Yost on July 21, 2006 at 3:40 AM | PERMALINK

Nice article/pictures on the holocaust hoax.

So the holocaust is really a hoax,.... clearly there is something wrong.

Man,... some feathers have got to fly,... and maybe some fowl should be slaughtered.

Posted by: watcher on July 21, 2006 at 4:14 AM | PERMALINK

watcher:

But what *I* wanna know is ...

How much did they pay those actors to get so incredibly skinny for the footage shot after the American troops "liberated" the so-called death camps?

Mmmm ... I'll bet their meal in the movie lot commissary after the shoot was over tasted *delicious*, huh ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 5:28 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

> That's an excellent point which further underscores the silly
> nature of the proposal. It's even worse when you consider
> the fact the liberals are suggesting an EU force, with zero
> experience, can perform anywhere near as well as the IDF.

Wooten, the IDF are "performing" precisely according to Hezbollah's
game plan. The more they destroy civilian infrastructure, the more
they kill Lebanese troops (who are, you know, supposed to be on their
side), the more they make it impossible for the Lebanese government
to operate -- the more they create the conditions for a resurgent
Hezbollah by demonstrating to the Shiite southern countryside that
only a radical Islamic militia force will stand up to aggression.

Or do you think somehow that Hezbollah didn't anticipate precisely
this reaction from the IDF? Their game plan is *anarcy*, Wooten.
Create anarchy, and the people with yearn for traditional order.

Failed states incubate terrorism. Bomb Lebanon back into the
Stone Age, and a resurgence of Stone Age ideologies will result.

> That's simply not conceivable.

Wooten, to a rigid-minded ideologue who gets his news exclusively
from right-wing outlets and delights in telling the entire rest
of the civilized world to go fuck itself -- what you find yourself
personally being unable to conceive would fill half the internet.

> What Israel gets out of this is to deliver a beating to Hamas,
> Fatah, Hezbollah and Lebanon to remind them of the cost of the game.

As if they were all the same thing ... jesus, you're a moron.

> So far it's been much worse than expected when you consider
> the political damage.

"Political damage?" Wooten -- you don't have any credibility to
talk about "political damage." You dismiss your political opponents
out of hand. The news you get is *filtered*, designed to flatter
the sensibilities of comfortable middle-class conservatives.

> Just a a starter the other arab states did not support them.

"Just as a starter," jesus. Wooten, *nobody* supported the Hamas
and Hezbollah actions, because they were unprovoked. That's
hardly the point, as Israel's overreaction is only guaranteed to
destabilize the region and give a tremendous amount of aid and
comfort to Iran and Syria -- which we can do absolutely nothing about.

> This is a sea change for the Palestinians. They were not supported
> and have been all but ignored recently. They can't get on the news.

Wooten, just because Gaza isn't on Fox News hardly means they're not
in the news. If you're going to deign to judge the politics of a
situation, you need at very least to know how things are playing.

You haven't the tiniest clue.

> They have had no power, no running water, no sewage
> and no sympathy. They've even lost Germany and Canada.

Bullshit. The Sunni governments who have inveighed against Hezbollah
recently haven't breathed a word against Hamas. Gee -- I wonder why?

> GWB has given Israel carte blanche, a 1st for a US President,

BULLSHIT. American presidents *always* give Israel carte blanche --
and this is not even true on its own limited terms; Bush -- along with
the rest of the G8 -- implored the Israelis to exercise restraint.
Now, in practical terms, that's little more than a wink and a nod --
but it's not "carte blanche," either, at least in diplomatic terms.

> and seen his polls rise as a result.

"His polls rise?" What -- a point and a half? He's cracking 37% now
in Rasmussen or something? Wooten, the polls are driven far more by
the $3+ gas prices, which will only climb with the spot market spike.

Americans support Israel generally -- but they're not neocons, either.

> This has been all bad for Palestine.

Well, as it turns out, the militant faction who's been firing the
rockets and who captured the Israeli soldier *disowned* Hamas the
moment they formed a government. They make Hamas look like Fatah.

And ... once again ... this proves the failure of Israel's overall
strategy to leave the occupied territories as squalid as possible.
More squalor and misery = more Islamic radicalism = more terrorism.

> The Iranians and Syrians learned they are alone in the Middle East.

... with the US-backed Shi'ite government in Iraq. What a freakin'
clueless wonder you are, Wooten. The "Shi'ite Crescent" is sending
shivers from Riyhad to Cairo to Amman because it's so darn...lonely :)

> The Saudi's put a fatwa out on those who support
> Hezbollah opening a severe rift in the muslim world.

Wooten, you know JACK SHIT about the Islamic world, don't even try.

"Severe rift's" ASS. What's going on is only further proof of how
the Western-leaning Sunni regimes are unrepresentative of their people
-- who overwhelmingly support the action against Israel. You should
have seen the Arab American Institute panel discussion on C-SPAN.
You know who were among the speakers? Darrell Issa, John Sununu.

The Saudis have *always* been skeeved by Hezbollah -- but not at all
by Hamas. YOU WANNA KNOW WHY? Because Hezbollah are Shi'ite and
Hamas, as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, are Sunni.

You catch Our Friend Maliki tearing
Israel several new assholes the other day?

This is a regional power struggle having little at base to do with
Israel and Islamic radicalism generally and everything to do with the
resurgence of Iran and Syria. Nature abhors a vaccuum. Our invasion
of Iraq *empowered* Iran by empowering Shi'ites who had taken refuge
in Iran for decades and who have cultivated deep ties. SCIRI? The
Badr Brigades? The most respected Shi'ite cleric in Iraq was *born*
in Iran. And now with Lebanon on the verge of toppling -- they're
popping champagne and handing out sweets in -- guess where? --
Damascus. Gee, when Lebanon was on the balls of its ass since
the civil war, which regional power filled the vaccuum there?

If you think that the "answer" here for Israel's long-term
security is to set the Sunnis against the Shia in some kind
of regional conflagration between nation-states, fine. Just
expect to pay over $100/bbl for oil for the foreseeable future.

And if *that* happens, even AIPAC isn't going to keep American
public opinion from inexorably sliding away from the provocateur.

> The lebanese learn their faux neutrality won't work.

"Faux neutrality" -- asshole, that's called DEMOCRACY ! Lebanon
has duly elected Hezbollah MPs; it's got a ton of poorly educated
Shi'ites in the rural south who deserve political representation.
And the urban areas of Lebanon -- Beruit and its environs -- is
one of the most Western-leaning, pluralist, progressive corners
of the Arab world. They're not, like the Saudis and the Egyptians,
the head-cracking type. To the extent that they couldn't control
Hezbollah in the south is precisely the extent that the country
was freeing itself from an external head-cracking military regime
-- Syria. Now either neocon democracy cheerleaders are loathesome
hypocrites -- or they take democracy seriously. Hell, we allow
neofascist militarist Republican asswipes like yourself to control
*our* damned government in the name of winning a freakin' election.

> They are responsible for what happens in their borders.
> They have to understand they must evict Hezbollah
> to have any shot at lasting peace and prosperity.

Asshole -- Hezbollah is *overwhelmingly popular* in the south of
Lebanon. They ran medical clinics, schools, courts. They *were*
the government of southern Lebanon. Talking about "evicting"
Hezbollah is like talking about "evicting" the Shi'ites from Lebanon.

And yeah -- ethnic cleansing can solve a lot of problems.
Too bad it's morally repugnant to the civilized world.

> Israel learns it has to prepare better and buys time.

Oh please. Israel is already militarized out the wazoo.

> We need to provide them more sophisticated
> equipment including anti-missle shields.

"Anti-missile shields." You mean the ones that don't work, like the
Patriot? You really are quite the military-industrial tool, Wooten.

> We need to collaborate on satellite spy technology as well as
> drone technology. Israel will need to be able to fight it's own
> insurgency using drones to seek and kill the terror leaders.

Yeah, like the trucks carring water pipes in that wealthy
Maronite Christian neighborhood the drones blew to pieces
because they couldn't tell them apart from missiles.

> Israel may even get a better border.

Because at the end of the freakin' day, that's what this is all about.

As if "better borders for Israel" haven't been the source of this
whole fucking conflict since the 20s. Ah, the inspiring morality
of land grabs in the desert by the region's only democracy ...

> Best case scenario for Israel is Hezbollah has to leave lebanon.

News Flash: Hezbollah will *never* leave Lebanon. The only two
conceivable alternatives are 1) another Syrian military occupation
or 2) a campaign of full-bore genocide against the southern Shi'ites.

> Worst case is status quo.

No, the long-term worst case is the short-term best case for
Israel: They destroy Hezbollah's infrastructure and kill so many
civilians in the process that that Hezbollah emerges in another
decade even stronger, with more solidarity among the people and
even better weaponry. That's what you get when you bomb a region
back into the Stone Age. You only buy yourself a little time ...

And this is, of course, why the truly unhinged frothers of your ilk
like Ledeen are agitating for a full-out war with Iran and Syria.

Because that's precisely where your
logic leads, my Yuengling loving friend.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 8:10 AM | PERMALINK

So if Israel keeps doing what has failed to gain them security these last 50 years,

The Palestinains in Israel have the highest standard of living of any arabs in the world with the only exception of those with the title 'prince' before their names.

Israel isn't just surviving but prospering in the most dangerous place on the planet where 1B muslims have been trying to kill them for 60 years.

Every single middle eastern governemt runs a repressive police state because they know half of their own population wants to kill them. Life in Israel is far more prosperous and secure than in any other middle estern nation.

I didn't ask for different ideas. I asked what was your idea. Let me guess, understanding root causes and talking until we're blue in the face. This is the EU plan. That's why they're irrelevent. It's why they've always been irrelevent and why they will remain irrelevent. At least until they start praying 5x's a day.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK

Hezbollah is *overwhelmingly popular* in the south of
Lebanon. They ran medical clinics, schools, courts. They *were*
the government of southern Lebanon. Talking about "evicting"
Hezbollah is like talking about "evicting" the Shi'ites from Lebanon.

And if these Shites are going to stick with thier plan of kiling all the jews they will indeed be evicted.

Liberals have picked up this dumb idea that wars don't solve anything. That's total nonsense. They are often the only solution. That's why Israel exists in the 1st place and it's why they remain prosperous in 2006. Either the Lebonese are going to control their border or Southern lebanon will be destroyed.

This isn't remotely complicated.

To your point Bob about this only making the insurgency stronger I can't really do justice to a proper response. For whatever reason post-68 libs have adapted a position that fighting back against ones enemies only makes them stronger and thus the only way is Neville Chamberlain. This is the cowards way. It might reign in Europe where they've been beaten down by war but it will never work in America. We're far, far to strong to ever be beaten. The rest of the world combined would lose if they took on the USA.

This episode represents visible progress. In 1948 through 1973 Israel's gravest threat was Eqypt. But Egpyt is no longer in this War. Nor is Jordan or the majority of lebanon for that matter.

Two missles fell in the Harbor in Haifa today. ABC probably never showed them but Fox did. Fox also showed the skyline and counted 25 cranes at work in expanding an already prosperous and beautiful city.

What those missles will do is make even bigger asses of Durbin and Kennedy and the other liberal fools trying to block research on missle defense as well as attract even more partners into our partnership doing the research. It includes 11 active members including Japan. Seems the Japanese people think missle defence is a good idea. Go figure. They've committed $1B so far and have agreed to deploy both a land based system and a sea based system on Japanese crusiers.

What do you think of Hezbollah and Hamas launching 10,000 missles? Thinking missle defense might be a good idea? Thinking maybe Ronald Reagan was way, way ahead of the liberal intelligencia? Come on Bob. Admit it. The libs got caught with their zipper down. Again!!!

And I know you are very worried about hezbollah getting stronger. Alas, they will. And by all means pound that point home each and every chance you get. In fact, lets make this a key part of the Democratic platform. Our enemies are getting stronger! That's what I want. Both parties arguing about who will spend more on our defense!!

BTW: I really liked it when Hillary and a few others said we need to add soldiers. We don't have enough. Any chance you can revive that as a key plank?

Are you getting any kind of a sense here why global warming ISN't quite as important as you'd like it to be?

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

this is, of course, why the truly unhinged frothers of your ilk
like Ledeen are agitating for a full-out war with Iran and Syria.

Because that's precisely where your
logic leads, my Yuengling loving friend

We are already at war with them.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

>> So if Israel keeps doing what has failed
>> to gain them security these last 50 years,

> The Palestinains in Israel have the highest standard
> of living of any arabs in the world with the only exception
> of those with the title 'prince' before their names.

Wooten ... you are such a lying sack of shit, a veritable one-man
disinformation campaign. First of all, Israel -- though solidly
prosperous -- is not superabundant in wealth. It has socialist
roots and an extensive safety net, but even so, there are pockets
of poverty throughout the country. And this is to be expected,
as Israel resettles Jews from all over the world (every Jew has a
right to Israeli citizenship), many of them semi-skilled or even
highly skilled but whose skills aren't needed, so they live on
the dole. And Israeli Arabs -- although fully enfranchised and
represented in government -- tend by and large to get the short
end of the stick. Is this for some kind of twisted *racial* reason
-- Arabs aren't as intelligent or as hard-working as Jews -- or
do you think maybe more mundane explanations like the prejudice
of the dominant culture might have something to do with it? You
know -- saving the better jobs for Jews because Israel is a Jewish
nation sorta thing? Did you read about the Nazareth village where
those two Arab boys got killed by a Hamas rocket? Living like --
shit, like Arabs in Beruit -- they were not, and obviously.

> Israel isn't just surviving but prospering in the most
> dangerous place on the planet where 1B muslims have
> been trying to kill them for 60 years.

You simple-minded demagogue. Like, uhh, Egypt and Jordan, which have
signed peace treaties with Israel. Like how much time do you think
the average *Indonesian* spends thinking about Israel / Palestine?

> Every single middle eastern governemt runs a repressive police state
> because they know half of their own population wants to kill them.

Except Lebanon -- which then gets shelled into oblivion by Israel
precisely because it *wasn't* running a repressive police state.

> Life in Israel is far more prosperous and
> secure than in any other middle estern nation.

That's why they declare war on a country because two of their
soldiers got captured -- even though that government wasn't
responsible for the action. *Real* sign of security, that ...

> I didn't ask for different ideas. I asked what was
> your idea. Let me guess, understanding root causes and
> talking until we're blue in the face. This is the EU plan.

You shit-shovelling turd. The EU plan is military,
with robust, NATO-like rules of engagement.

> That's why they're irrelevent. It's why they've always
> been irrelevent and why they will remain irrelevent.

I am so fucking sick of your crypto-Hitler rhetoric ...

> At least until they start praying 5x's a day.

Maybe if you prayed *once* a day you
wouldn't be such a moral abomination.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

this is, of course, why the truly unhinged frothers of your ilk
like Ledeen are agitating for a full-out war with Iran and Syria.

Because that's precisely where your
logic leads, my Yuengling loving friend

They are already at war with us. In fact I think the main battles of this war will be fought where most wars are fought. In Europe.
Merkel gets it. GWBs tough love means Europe is on it's own. Merkel has moved decisively away from France and the EU consensus. Germany is about 5 years behind Japan. I am referring to the path Japan is on to restore it's military might and take full responsibility for securing it's borders. Japan will be fully capable of meeting China and North Korea in battle at the same time.

Germany is in the same place. Last year Russia cut off The Ukranes gas supplies when temps were below zero. Germany gets a lot more gas from Russia than the Ukrane. More recently Iran promised the EU of they interefered with Iran they wold be dealt with severely hinting Iran missles could be nuclear armed and reach Paris or Berlin.

Let me see. What should Germany do? They face serious threats from very nasty neighbors. Remain defenseless? Rely on the French to defend them? I think not. We are gone and we're not coming back. GWBs plan has been to force Germany to face facts and decide as the Japanese have to defend themselves, or not.


Bob I know you think fighting back just makes the terrorist stronger. You've been saying this your entire life. Ok, quick test. What party is in power? Why?

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

You shit-shovelling turd. The EU plan is military, with robust, NATO-like rules of engagement.

Bob, the EU doesn't have a military. And if it did you could not possibly use the word robust to describe it.

We just had an episode under the smartest president in the history of civilization. He hoped the Europeans could handle Milosovich. Serbia is in EUROPE. The EU could not mount an offensive operation IN EUROPE!

We just had an epic disaster in Indoneia. The entire world wanted to help. The EU could not help. They had the will. They had needed supplies. They had no way of getting them there.

Iran has been pissing in the EUs face for a year. They are openly contemptious of the EU. There is absolutely nothing the EU can do to threaten Iran. They cannot do anything militarily and the EU needs Iranian oil more than Iran needs anything from the EU.

God bless the Italians and Poles for their support in Iraq. It's a dangerous place and they are brave. But let's not over-play that hand. They are not playing a front line role. They are not in offensive positions fighing offensive battles taking offensive casualties. The European do not have war experience. Playing crossing guard in Kosovo is not war experience.

And there is no NATO. It's a shell organization absent a committed army and committed arms. NATO will never have power unless the US is committed to a specific mission as in Afghanistan. Without the USA NATO does not exist.

Sorry Bob. The French aren't willing to defend France and the Germans have been forced to maintain impotence. The EU couldn't threaten the state of Delaware let alone anyone in the Middle East.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Your first fallacy is once again conflating the struggle against radical Islam with the strategic politics of nation-states. This has nothing to fucking do with nation-states. Radical Islam is equatable to neither Fascism nor Communism. Thomas Friedman understand this. Most commentators on the Mideast (save for your frothin' faves) understand this.

The truly amazing thing about your unqualified support for Israel's response is how it so flatly contradicts George Bush's desire to bring democracy to the Arab world. You know -- based on the fundamental insight that failed states, whether Afghanistan or Lebanon, breed terrorism. You bomb these countries back into the Stone Age, and you produce -- surpise, surprise -- Stone Age ideologies.

This has *nothing to do* with Israel's right to defend itself -- which nobody questions. This has to do with their strategy. If Israel were capable of merely taking out the militant groups which captured their soldiers -- I (and just about every liberal I know) would say fine.

But destroying Lebanon's ability to govern itself is only going to make Hezbollah look that much stronger in the eyes of the Lebanese. That's what you don't seem to get -- a totalistic response drives out moderate opinion. All the Arab political leaders who are willing to accomodate Israel and democracy look just like what you accuse us liberals of -- sellout wimps, useless in the face of an existential threat.

Your entire ideology, Wooten, is a *mirror image* of Hamas and Hezbollah. It is as fundamentally against the values of democracy.

Oh, and missile defense against ICBMs travelling down from the edges of space at multiples of the speed of sound is not technically possible.

Missile defense against shorter-range weapons might be workable, and I have nothing against attempting to develop it in principle.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

Did you read about the Nazareth village where
those two Arab boys got killed by a Hamas rocket?

Yes I did. Classic middle east terrorist. Muslims kill more innocent muslims than anyone else.

Allow me to repeat. The palestinains in Israel have a higher standard of living than ARABS ANYWHERE ELSE!

I am not making the claim they have the same as the jews. Nor would I expect that. Somehow if I were a jew living in Israel I might be a little nervous around arabs. It's related to that think about Arabs wanting to wipe them off the map. Jews are sensitive about that. Go figure!

Actually, it's not near as bad as it used to be and will be better. The israeli arabs see th world much diffeently than their counsins in Gaza. They are just as tired of the jews of the suicide bombers and the missles. Seems they don't like watching their little girls blown to bits either. Thus they are getting better jobs and a bigger slice of a growing pie.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Your response is boilerplate EU-bashing. Serving as a buffer zone between Israel and and the rest of Lebanon is entirely within the capabilities of an EU force.

The objections to involvement in Bosnia and Kosovo mirrored, ironically enough, the objections on the floor of the House and Senate by Clinton-hating isolationist Republicans. And the argument in itself is worth considering: Would a large-scale military campaign only make things worse?

Funny how when Republicans make the point you seem to be more willing to listen to it ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Thomas Friedman understand this. Most commentators on the Mideast (save for your frothin' faves) understand this.

Thomas L writes for the NYTs. People thus assume he's on the other side with the rest of the Blame America 1st crowd. The MSM has done such an awful job even fairly sane poeple like Freidman have been caught in their trap.

The trap is the MSM. The fact is fewer and fewer people even listen to them. Libs still don't get Dan Rather. He represents MSM credibility. There is none. You really don't understand the damage. People don't trust network news and the NYTs and many fewer are even bothering to listen.

Just take a step back and look at this scenario. Israel is pounding the crap out of Southern lebanon and there's no pressure on them to stop. No one listens to Kofi Annan. We know whay he's going to say before he says it but it barely makes news because he's irrelevent. GWB has given Israel total and unequivical support AND he has Merkel standing side by side with us.

More other President has been anywhere near as supportive as GWB has been of Iraael.

And how much grief is GWB getting? ZERO. Is anyone in Congress complaining? The LEFT is silent. What is this? Day 10?

We've got the usual, "Where's Condi" from the usual groups but it's a much smaller and quieter group. They have NO influence. EVERY DEMOCRATIC POLITICIAN IS EITHER SUPPORTING GWB OR HIDING.

The WH had been clear. Condi is ready to go but there's no reason yet. Bolton has been Brilliant and highly visible.

GWBs polls in Rasmussen have been at 45% two days running. This is despite soaring gas prices. They are his highest levels in 6 months.

Sorry Bob, this is a liberal disaster everywhere. The liberals in the US are irrelevent. The EU is irrelevent (and split - it's Merkel and Bush, not merkel and Chirac). The UN is always irrelevent.

I'd say the big winner here is missle defense and Ronald Reagan. That's after a big win in NK a few weeks back for the same cause.

It's going to be fascinating watching this play out politically in congress. Every Democrats running for President is now under pressure to more firmly establish their defense chops. look for a supplimental bill to increase defense R&D.


Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Once again, you spew falsehoods. The standard of living of Israeli Arabs isn't better than Arabs in Egypt or Jordan or northern Lebanon or among the non-royals in Saudi Arabia. It might be a decent standard of living compared to, say, the Shi'ite slums of Iraq, or Yemen, but it's not at the hyperbolic level you claim to be sure.

Nobody likes to be on the receiving end of a civilian attack -- whether by crude rockets or suicide bombers, or whether by a state-of-the-art military. Sure, Israeli Arabs don't like terrorism against their own neighborhoods. Who would? Stick them in Gaza and their perspective would, obviously, invert.

Israel's great strategic mistake is thinking it needs to keep its neighbors impoverished and miserable in order to ensure its own security. This is total bullshit -- just about every sane commentator realizes it, and Tom Friedman is especially eloquent on the point. Israel didn't have to virtually annihilate Egypt and Jordan to get peace treaties out of them.

But Israel believes that if it punishes Lebanon like it punishes Gaza, this will guarantee its security. Well guess what -- that's flat-out wrong.

The only way suicide terrorism will begin to diminish in both of those places is when their economies and societies begin to develop.

Just like, you know, Bush says: Prosperous, democratic states are not threats to each other.

Israel's foreign policy seems to belie this basic, self-evident insight.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Bob, at least you got rdw to admit that Iraq and Israel is not a democracy but a repressive police state when he wrote:

Every single middle eastern governemt runs a repressive police state because they know half of their own population wants to kill them.

So now when he claims Iraq is a democracy you can counter with his own words that Iraq is a "repressive police state" -- unless, of course, he starts arguing with you abou the meaning of "every."

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Yeah, that's doing Lieberman *real* well in Connecticut. He's down 51/47 to Lamont in Quinnipac.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

I am so fucking sick of your crypto-Hitler rhetoric ...

What do you expect from a sociopathic fascist? You're using facts and logic, he's responding with spittle-flecked unhinged rants. This is like trying to have a rational argument with Julius Streicher or Josef Goebbels.

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Your response is boilerplate EU-bashing. Serving as a buffer zone between Israel and and the rest of Lebanon is entirely within the capabilities of an EU force.

Only if peace has already been established and both sides agree. The EU can ONLY do border guard duty.

You are way ahead of yourself. The EU has agreed to nothing nor proposed anything. The absolutely will not get in harms way between Hezbollah, Hamas and the jews unless all parties agree. Hezbollah would LOVE to deliver the EU a defeat by chasing them out.


The objections to involvement in Bosnia and Kosovo mirrored, ironically enough, the objections on the floor of the House and Senate by Clinton-hating isolationist Republicans.

You are full of crap. I am not objecting to a EU force. I am saying the idea the EU can provide a force with offensive capabilities is a farce. The EU cannot and will not face up to either Hezbollah or Hamas and it's stupid to even consider it.

My recollection of Kosovo was we didn't have a dog in that fight and let the Europeans handle it.

I fully expect there will be some force on the border. It just won't be disussed until Israel signals they are ready. Once Israel is satisfied they've responded to these provications I fully expect GWB will follow up with Chirac and Putin and I fully expect Both will refuse to do a thing.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

So now when he claims Iraq is a democracy you can counter with his own words that Iraq is a "repressive police state" -- unless, of course, he starts arguing with you abou the meaning of "every."

Nice point stefan. You've got to the heart of the issue. I realize I need to be very specific with libs because it's so hard for you to figure anything on your own.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Bob, at least you got rdw to admit that Iraq and Israel is not a democracy but a repressive police state when he wrote:

Excuse me, that should have been "Iraq is not a democracy." The "and Israel" was left in from an earlier aborted cut and paste.

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, that's doing Lieberman *real* well in Connecticut. He's down 51/47 to Lamont in Quinnipac.

You make my point. This is a small disaster for the Democratic party. This guy was your VP candidate in 2000. The far left is drumming him out of your party. Even Bill Clinton recognizes the pending disaster.

Do you simple bastards really think moving farther left is the answer? Are you out of your minds? You will be losing an experienced and widely respected Senator. This will appear to sane mid-westerners as if you are being taken over by the Hollywood/Berkley/SF crowd. Think Karl Rove is creaming in his pants? Yep!

I like and respect Joe. Agree or disagree with him he's a honest and serious fellow. I'd hate to see him lose but in terms of party strategy this is a gift to the GOP. You can't have too many Teddy K's or Chuck Schumers or Dick Durbin's.

There are a lot of people in conservative circles thrilled with the popularity of Kos, Dean and Moveon.org. They share two great assets. They are radical lefties and they are losers. If in fact Joe loses I'll have to amend the record of Kos and Move.org. They'll finally have a win. It's one conservtives actually like

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Well, as far as I know Iraq has a government and is in the Middle East, so if "every single middle eastern governemt" [sic] runs a repressive police state, and if we accept the commonly understood (commonly understood by non-lunatics, that is) meaning of "every single" to mean every single one, with no exceptions, then, by his own definition, Iraq is a repressive police state and not a democracy.

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Nice to watch you get sidetracked on Lieberman. You still didn't address my central point -- which is just exactly how blowing the shit out of southern Lebanon helps to promote democracy -- since promoting democracy and modernity is supposed to be the countervailing force against Islamist radicalism. You know ... all those Shi'ites too busy waiting for the next new DVD to come out and their next fat paycheck to worry about what some hothead says down at the local mosque.

Not that I'm mocking this theory per se -- only the hypocrisy of Republicans who preached it when all the other rationales for invading Iraq fell apart, who grasped ahold of it like a magic talisman.

Now, with Israel's new offensive, seems like we're back into "they're just squalid little brown people who wouldn't know democracy from an infertile camel after all."

Heh.

About Lieberman -- hey look, this isn't a fight I personally would've picked. But I don't live in Connecticut; I respect their right to elect who they think is appropriate. I mean, shit -- we on the left have been laughing ourselves silly at the ancephelatic nincompoops red staters have been sending to Congress for years. You know, like Tom ("Lesbians running wild in our highschools!") Coburn and James "The Stupidest Man Alive" Inhofe.

So a primary electorate tends to be partisan. Like this is news to anybody?

But apparently not partisan enough, heh heh, to send that Mousketeer From Hell Ralph Reed to the GA lieutenant governor's office :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

You still didn't address my central point -- which is just exactly how blowing the shit out of southern Lebanon helps to promote democracy

I didn't say it promotes democracy. I said it kills terrorists. I said it increases Israeli security and it also brings them one step closer to eventual real peace. The only way to actually get there is to kill those who wish to kill you first.

From a political perspective it also plays to the conservative advantage big time and that's big time domestically and internationally.

I'm not sure what the average German thinks watching this but they look at it in a completely different context than pre-GWB. Now they know the US defense shield is gone. Now they knew the choice is to rely on the French to defend them or to start thinking about how they are going to defend themselves.

My guess is they have an even more thorough understanding of the nature of radical islam. No German is under the illusions their defenses are as powerful or efficient as Israel's. Yet Hezbollah and Hamas attack Israel boldly.

How secure do you think the Germans feel? What did they think when Iran threatened Paris and Berlin?

It's kind of interesting watching the shift in Japanese thinking when confronted with a radical neighbor isn't it. Like it or not Japan is going to defend itself and that means restoring to full military power.

What will the Germans do? Rely on France? Rely on the EU? The EU could not take on Milosovich and you think the Germans are going to rely on the EU?

How many more times will Iran threaten the EU in the next 6 months.

I know it's too horrible for liberals to consider but we are going to see the military re-emergence of Japan and German AND they will be powerful allies to the USA. And liberal fecklessness made it all possible. You go ahead and talk to those terrorists until you are blue to the gills. But keep your eyes on the Germans. Merkel is as far away from liberal elite as it gets.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

You once again completely blew off my question.

Wooten, this may well break your heart, but I truly don't give the tiniest dribble of diarrhea about The Corner's Grand Overview of World Strategy.

I'm talking about how to keep terrorism from spreading.

"Bomb the shit out of all the little brown people" is *not* an answer.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

So what you're saying, then, is that promoting democracy has nothing to do with stopping terrorism.

Thanks. I *thought* that was nothing more than a reeking pantload from the first time it crawled off of Bush's lips ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

But apparently not partisan enough, heh heh, to send that Mousketeer From Hell Ralph Reed to the GA lieutenant governor's office :)

Very, very different situation each of which are bad for libs. I was stunned Reed did so poorly. I wasn't stunned last week but several months ago when it was clear Reed was going to lose. I though Reed was going to be an outstanding candidate and eventual governor and possibly presidential candidate. He is an almost peerless speaker and debater. I think two things happened. Cagle is an excellent candidate himself and has a bright future. He will be the next Governor. This is Reeds loss not the GOPs.

What I don't know is if Reed just is not a good politican or he needs to learn. I hope for the GOPs sake he does an honest evaluation. If he has a political future I'd love to see him try again. If his strength is as a spokesman and stratergist then hopefully he'll concentrate on that.

I think you'll agree Karl Rove is as valuable ot the GOP as any one senator. Reed can also be a major asset.

Reed was running for Lt-gov of GA. Lieberman was your VP candidate in 2000. Huge difference. That fact liberals are drumming one of the few Democrats serious about security and defense out of the party at the SAME time SK and Iran are hurling missles all over the place is just priceless.

I think we can agree GWB is not the most articulate of men. Actually I'll even agree he can be painful to watch sometimes. AND HE BEAT YOU TWICE!!!!!

I have a different theory. GWB did not beat you. You simple bastards kicked your own asses!

I love Speilbergs 'talk until you're blue to the gills' line. Any chance you can get Ringside Reid and Nancy to use that to replace the 'culture of corruption'?

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Israel's been pushing that line forever. It *hasn't* brought them closer to real peace. It's brought them to the brink of war.

If you treat your neighbors shabbily, don't be surpised when they return the favor.

If Israel wasn't so fucking greedy we might not be in this situation.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

So what you're saying, then, is that promoting democracy has nothing to do with stopping terrorism.

Not even a nice try. I said spanking hezbollah is not about promoting democracy. It's about spanking Hezbollah. Sometimes a rose is just a rose.

We need to focus attention on those missles. If only to enhance Reagans legacy this is all to the good of conservatives. We need to make sure th Germans see what they're in for when they decide if they'll let the French protect them or if they'll decide they'll defend themselves.

Don't get me wrong. I pray each of those missles miss and as long as they miss Hezbollah and Hamas can't fire too many missles for my tastes. The Germans need to uderstand what a constant storm of missles might look like.

I'm even thrilled Chirac opened his mouth about putting a 'robust' force in. It's a farce but it's always good to expose a farce for all to see. It can only help the Germans to see what Iran thinks of France's 'robust force'. You know and I know and the Iranians know Chirac means crossing guards.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

The Germans need to uderstand what a constant storm of missles might look like.

Yes, we certainly have no idea what years of continuous day and night bombing and having our cities reduced to rubble might be like....

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Reed lost for the very simple reason that there is little so scorned as a religious conservative voter base. The connection with Abramoff was unspinnable: Reed the oh-gambling-is-immoral religionist was caught helping Abramoff to set Indian tribe against Indian tribe, so Abramoff's clients could win out.

Nobody believed it when Ralphie said he was misled. And subsequent published emails revealed that he knew GODDAMNED WELL precisely what he was doing.

You can be a Machiavellian politician with most constituencies. Americans, after all, love nothing so much as winning.

But with some constituencies you cannot. Evangelical voters are one of them; they actually, uhhmm, genuinely care about moral issues in themselves and not as a mere means to an ends -- unlike garden-variety Republican scumbags such as yourself :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

The standard of living of Israeli Arabs isn't better than Arabs in Egypt or Jordan or northern Lebanon or among the non-royals in Saudi Arabia

Israeli arabs are much better off than Jordanians and Egypts. More important they are dramatically better of that the Palestinians in Jordan and Eqypt.

Saudi Arabia and the wealthy oil states might be an exception but only because of the welfare the oil provides. Israeli is ranks 40th in per caital income while Saudi Arabia is ranked 75. Only Qatar is higher than Israel.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Israel's been pushing that line forever. It *hasn't* brought them closer to real peace. It's brought them to the brink of war.

This is just getting silly. It's brought them dramatically closer to peace. Egypt and Jordan are at peace with Israel. Most of Lebanon would like to be. Sharon delivered one of the most prosperous periods in Israels history while defeating Fatah.

The people in Gaza has suffered devastating losses.

The Arab war over territory is over. Israel won. This is a religious war and we are part of it. Iran aims to win a global religious war. This is the GWOT. Iran wil lose. Syria will lose. Hezbollah will lose. Hamas will lose.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

The connection with Abramoff was unspinnable:

I'm not about to get in the weeds on this. This is a lieutenant governors race in Georgia. In terms of importance it does not rank in the top 300. The consensus on this side is Abramhoff was not a factor, Reed was not as good a candidate as hoped and the key thing is he ran into very strong competition. Cagle is very good for the GOP.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK
Not true. The vast majority of UN missions are peacekeeping operations initiated AFTER the end of hostilities.

"The vast majority" is not all. MONUC, currently ongoing in DR Congo, for example, does not fit that description. You claimed it was radically different than anything the UN had ever attempted; this is, in fact, false.

Heck, the operation to roll back North Korean aggression in the 1950s was a UN operation, and is about as far from "peacekeeping operations after the end of hostilities" as you can get.

Blue helmets are nothing more than crossing guards authorized to take defensive actions but not offensive actions.

That wasn't true in Korea in 1950, its not true in MONUC today, and it wouldn't be true under the proposals being made for an EU-led force in Lebanon.

Its true of the current UNIFIL mandate, for instance, but that's something that's proposed to change.

IN most cases when threatened they abandon their posts.

While that's certainly been true of the weak-mandate, small UNIFIL force, its not true of many other UN deployments.

But there's the rub isn't it? I'll stand corrected regarding a formal limitation however there is the practical limitation of a China totally opposed to interferring in the 'internal' actions of any nation without the permission of that nation.

Since Lebanon supports (indeed, is demanding) such a force, China's opposition to interfering with internal actions without permission of the local government (even leaving aside that it doesn't usually manifest in vetoes, but rather in abstentions) is irrelevant.

The removal of hezbollah is THE issue.

No, the disarmament of Hezbollah's armed wing is the issue, along with development of Lebanese government capacity to secure its own southern areas. Its the issue that Israel claims is central, and the issue laid out by 1559.

This is a terrorist organization committed to the destruction of Israel.

Actually, its a minority political party dedicated to establishing an Iranian-style Islamic Republic in Lebanon.


This is not going to be a cease fire so they can rearm and start the process all over.

Neither the Lebanese government, nor the EU is seeking that.

The UN can provide border guards. They can't defend against IEDs or suicide bombers or missle launches from civilian centers. No European nation will consider such a suggestion

So, you are claiming that no European government would suggest the kind of force and mission that several European governments are, in fact, suggesting?

Posted by: cmdicely on July 21, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

Wooten, your Strangelovian fantasies of a global religious armageddon are so fucking out-to-lunch they wouldn't be worth commenting on save this appears to be an obsession of the hard right which you so shamelessly like to parrot.

It is flat-out bullshit. The territory war is *not* over -- as you yourself admitted, you lying bastard, when you said that Israel will get "even better borders" out of this. The land grab's still on -- and as long as it's still on, there's going to be Palestinian rage. Sharon thought he could reduce the occupied territories to squalor, and all he created was rage. This is what happens when your people don't have a future -- they turn to backward ideologies just like the Germans did after WW1. There is such a thing as punishing an aggressor too severely. You try to take away a man's dignity and he'll lash back with everything he has. Human nature 101.

Bitch-slapping Hezbollah isn't the issue. *Nobody* disagrees that Hezbollah fully deserves to be bitch-slapped by Israel. If that's all it was about, then a cigar would be just a cigar.

But Israel is apparently attempting to do to Lebanon what it did in the occupied territories -- punish it severely, fuck with the entire country, send "a strong message."

Heh, "strong message" is right. By putting Lebanon into chaos, it will only make radical, death-to-Israel voices stronger and moderated politicians look like weakling sellouts. You know, like LIBERALS.

The only way to delegitimate backward, anti-modern radicalism is through the process of modernization and prosperity.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

brodix,


what are you babbling about?

rdw,

You are so right. It's beyond logic. The house of cards isn't just falling, it's blowing away in the wind.

is the GWOT. Iran wil lose. Syria will lose. Hezbollah will lose. Hamas will lose.

and after they quit pumping oil?

Posted by: brodix on July 21, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

Nicely done. I have little knowledge of UN interventions and that was a good save :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, we certainly have no idea what years of continuous day and night bombing and having our cities reduced to rubble might be like....

They do know what it's like to be on the losing end of a World War and need to be reminded.

What they haven't been aware of is the danger in the neighborhood and that pacificism in the face of radical islam means that one day they too will be Islamic. Our sophisticated friends in Europe came to believe the 60 years of relative peace they're enjoyed was the result of their sophistication and nuance. It was not due to the protection afforded by the US defense umbrella witnessed by 200,000 American troops at the edge of the Iron curtain separating the Germans from Stalin's crowd.

I think it's cool that we get to 'test' this sophistication. Jacques thinks he's perfected diplomacy. Well bravo for Jacques! Let's watch and see how well it works.

It's more than fine the Germans can align with Jacques. After all they are European and we all know they're more sophisticated than conservative rubes like me. It's very good the Germans have these choices and can make up their own minds.

They can pursue diplomacy. Or they can prepare for the war that is sure to come if they remain weak and defenseless.

Like I said. The Germans are about 5 years behind the Japanese. If they decide they'll defend themselves they'll catch up quickly.

That reminds me of one of Pattons great lines, "I'd rather have a German division in front of me than a French division behind me".

How ironic will it be than one of the legacy's of GWBs 8 years is the re-armament of Japan and Germany made possible by liberal fecklessness over radical islam and that freak in NK?


Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK
Wasn't it the guerilla-style Hezbollah of the 1980s and 1990s that bled the IDF occupation force sufficiently to drive it out of south Lebanon in 2000? Why won't they be able to simply do the same to whatever force tries to occupy the area this time?

They were able to do it last time because they had popular local support because Israel was a foreign occupying army that had invaded Lebanon.

An international peacekeeping force working alongside the Lebanese military to restore Lebanese sovereignty would have a different political dynamic which would be less likely to produce popular support for Hezbollah resistance.

The capacity of a guerrilla force is not independent of its support in the population.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 21, 2006 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

So, you are claiming that no European government would suggest the kind of force and mission that several European governments are, in fact, suggesting?

I've seen one soundbite from Chirac and another from Putin each of which was very vague. We can at least agree France doesn't count!

I am claiming as I've repeated several times, the EU, like the UN, has neither the means nor the will to establish the security force needed in Southern Lebanon to end the terrorism.

I will also repeat, they will NOT do so UNLESS Hezbollah and Syria and Iran agree in ADVANCE to stop the attacks.

What this means is the entire concept is useless bullsh*t.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Blue helmets are nothing more than crossing guards authorized to take defensive actions but not offensive actions.

That wasn't true in Korea in 1950, its not true in MONUC today, and it wouldn't be true under the proposals being made for an EU-led force in Lebanon.

The Korean war is the sole example of a positve UN effort but unfortunately that is the exception and it can never be repeated in a post-50's UN. This is a totally different organization so thoroughly corrupt and overly bureaucratic it can't even recognize it's original goals. The UN is the problem not the solution.

This UN is not capable of effective action. They can only function after a truce has been agreed to by all relative parties.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

The "consensus" is that Abramoff was not a factor. Heh, I like that :)

His polls seemed to track the scandal, but hey ... if your masters tell you it wasn't a factor -- how could it possibly be a factor. You wouldn't dare want to try to second-guess your masters, right? :)

In the *real* world (you know, not controlled by the "consensus") it was extremely apparent what happened: Reed -- fiercely against gambling on religious grounds -- helped an Indian tribe fight to keep *another* tribe from having gambling rights. At first glance, this looks righteous.

Then it turns out that it was only a fight on behalf of one of Abramoff's clients, who *paid* Abramoff in, ahem, gambling revenue.

So first Reed only looks like a hypocrite.

But then, when the emails come out, and it's apparent that Reed was in on the deal from the word go -- he more than look like, he *is* revealed as a liar, to boot.

And that severely depressed turnout among the sort of voters for whom moral values are absolutely everything. The trailer-park vote decided not to bother.

Reed's whole rep was built on the appearance of squeaky-clean personal morality. A freakin' unpaid parking ticket could have trashed it in the eyes of those sorts of voters.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, its a minority political party dedicated to establishing an Iranian-style Islamic Republic in Lebanon.

Actually it's dedicated to wiping Israel off the map. Hezbollah and Hamas are terrorist organizations and must renounce terrorism or be removed.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

His polls seemed to track the scandal, but hey ... if your masters tell you it wasn't a factor -- how could it possibly be a factor. You wouldn't dare want to try to second-guess your masters, right? :)

Are you really this desperate?

This was the GOP primary for the lieutenant-governor of Georgia. Are you so lacking for things to celebrate you've got to get this far into the weeds to find something?

I'm not even 1st guessing. I don't care.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

rdw:

This is like equating Sinn Fein with "the real IRA." And indeed -- some in Britain and Northern Ireland will never trust Sinn Fein because of its association with the the IRA, and that's probably to be expected.

But that's still quite a leap from calling Gerry Adams a terrorist.

Hamas and Hezbollah both have political wings. It turns out that in both cases, the actions against the Israeli soldiers were carried out by splinter factions. The Hamas faction, in fact, denounced Hamas as soon as it won the election. Hezbollah has likewise moderated its behavior and in no way can you associate the Lebanese Hezbollah PMs with the faction who captured the soldiers.

There are radical elements who, if could be isolated, should be brought to justice because their hardened ideology admits of no compromise.

If that were possible with military action, I'd fully support it. In fact, it's possible that I could've condoned Israel's military actions in Gaza and south Lebanon if they showed an intent to rounding up and/or taking out the members of those factions.

Instead, Israel is -- once again -- attempting to punish the civilian population.

Which is totally counterproductive and will only create stronger support for that brand of intransigent no-compromise terrorism.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

rdw wrote: Are you getting any kind of a sense here why global warming ISN't quite as important as you'd like it to be?

I am getting the sense that you start out on these threads as a blithering idiot spewing scripted, programmed right-wing propgaganda that has no connection at all to reality, and idolizing gangsters, thieves and mass murderers like Dick Cheney and George Bush; and when you come under pressure from other commenters who reveal your ignorance, dishonesty, and embrace of evil, you become completely unhinged and totally incoherent.

The only thing that differentiates you from the other ignorant, delusional, sociopathic right-wing idiots who like to post here is your word count. If brevity is a virtue, that makes you the worst of the lot, since it takes you several hundred words to regurgitate the same scripted talking points that most of the Bush bootlickers are able to recite in a couple of sentences.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 21, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

rdw wrote: The consensus on this side is Abramhoff was not a factor, Reed was not as good a candidate as hoped and the key thing is he ran into very strong competition. Cagle is very good for the GOP.

You are really an ignorant doofus. Cagle's entire campaign was based on bashing Reed over Abramoff, with TV commercials suggesting that Reed would be indicted in the not too distant future. That's the "strong competition" that Reed "ran into".

I guess when you say "the consensus on this side", that by "this side" you mean delusional cranks like yourself.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 21, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Secular:

"Strong competition" -- LOL !

Well knock him over with a feather :) No wonder Wooten doesn't want to "get into the weeds" over this, eh :)

Cagle's entire campaign was based precisely as you say. In an effort to -- guess what -- disabuse the evangelical vote of Reed's boyish Brylcreemed halo :)

And it *worked*, too. Imagine that.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK
I've seen one soundbite from Chirac and another from Putin each of which was very vague.

I suppose you've conveniently overlooked Prodi's more specific suggestions that Kevin referred to in a front page article, or the statements of (among others) Javier Solana.

We can at least agree France doesn't count!

No, we can't.

I am claiming as I've repeated several times, the EU, like the UN, has neither the means nor the will to establish the security force needed in Southern Lebanon to end the terrorism.

The UN clearly has the means if any country or combination does, whehter it has the will is another question. The EU clearly has the will, since they are the one pushing for the force you arguing against. Whether they have the means is only tangentially relevant, since, while the UN force they are suggesting may be EU-led, its unlikely to be an exclusively EU force.

But, even so, all you have offered to support either contention is your own ignorance of past operations undertaken by the UN and EU.

I will also repeat, they will NOT do so UNLESS Hezbollah and Syria and Iran agree in ADVANCE to stop the attacks.

Agreement by the parties (Hezbollah and Israel) to a ceasfire is clearly desirable, and agreement by other regional players to the whole of the operation is always beneficial, but the UN has introduced forces without a ceasefire in place before, and it is quite possible for them to do it here, and the support of syria and Iran is even less relevant than agreement of the parties to the conflict.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 21, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK
This UN is not capable of effective action. They can only function after a truce has been agreed to by all relative parties.

The UN, even recently, has undertaken effective action without this precondition, so this is quite clearly false. It seems, however, to be an article of religious faith with you that has no relation to facts.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 21, 2006 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Saudi Arabia and the wealthy oil states might be an exception but only because of the welfare the oil provides.

I love the logic on this: the only reason they're wealthy is because they control a resource that makes them wealthy, so it doesn't count. Ummm, yeah.....

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

How ironic will it be than one of the legacy's of GWBs 8 years is the re-armament of Japan and Germany made possible by liberal fecklessness over radical islam and that freak in NK?

Uh, Germany's been re-armed since the 1950s with the Bundeswehr. In fact, my cousin served in Bosnia in the 1990s with the Panzergrenadiers, and his former unit is deployed in Afghanistan right now.

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan & cmdicely:

I'm done with this guy. I had my guffawgasm watching him backpedal the significance of Reed's loss -- such craven denial is always a delight to witness.

I'll check back later to examine the rent body parts, as I'm well-aware of the fine skill you both exhibit with a rhetorical hacksaw :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

.but the UN has introduced forces without a ceasefire in place before, and it is quite possible for them to do it here, and the support of syria and Iran is even less relevant than agreement of the parties to the conflict.

The UN is not capable of the offensive operations needed to stop an insurgency and they never have. They are crossings guards, nothing more. They are unable to enforce their own resolutions as we saw with 1559 and we've seen countless times before.

There's a reason support for the UN within the US is in the toilet. Support for the UN by the EU is meaningless. Both are powerless.

In this case the support of Syria and Iran are critical because they are parties to the conflict. It is nice the Europeans are talking about doing something rather than issuing the usual braindead condemnations of Israel. GWB is making progress with them. More interesting are the Democrats. This is nothing but bad news for them.

GWB is waiting for Israel decide what it is they want to do. Until the situation plays out the UN and EU and the Democrats can talk until their blue to the gills and it won't matter.

Meanwhile it's good for the Europeans to watch Islamic Fundamentalist hurl missles at their leisure.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK


, so it doesn't count. Ummm, yeah.....

Didn't say or suggest any such thing. Their dollars are just as green.

I am suggesting a comparison to Teddy Kennedy. Just like teddy they were handed their wealth and just like Teddy they didn't pay any estate taxes.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Germany's been re-armed since the 1950s with the Bundeswehr.

And I'm armed too. I have a sling hot. Merkel and Harper both know the score. Germany is in far more dangerous territory than Canada and they have very clear choices.

Either they'll defend themselves or they won't. They have very clear examples of what happens to those unprepared to defend themselves.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK


backpedal the significance of Reed's loss

Bob you are sooo liberal. I backpedaled nothing. It's not possible to minimize the impact of a primary race for a lieutenant-governors posiiton. I can't make it less important than it is.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

And I'm armed too. I have a sling hot.

Let's put his "sling hot" against my cousin's tank and see who wins....

Posted by: Stefan on July 21, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

The UN, even recently, has undertaken effective action without this precondition, so this is quite clearly false. It seems, however, to be an article of religious faith with you that has no relation to facts.

So then why didn't you just toss a few examples out since I'm sure you have a long list off the top of your head?

The UN and the EU will have no roll here until Israel and the US decide they can have a roll. They'll issue a ton of press releases and fight for camera time but trust me, it's meaningless.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

GWB is waiting for Israel decide what it is they want to do.

The only accurate statement rdw has made this entire thread.

Posted by: Disputo on July 21, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

it seems you've got a one man campaign going to improve the image of the UN. Here's a clue of what you are up against. This is on powerline but suffice to say John Bolton is the single most popular guy among conservatives and in the GOP. The UN is getting hammered every day as is the EU.

This is a clip from powerline.


Why didn't we think of that?

When Daniel Patrick Moynihan served his brief but inspirational term as America's ambassador to the United Nations, his efforts proved most popular in the United States among midwesterners and Jews. See generally Moynihan's excellent memoir (with Suzanne Weaver Garment) A Dangerous Place. Minnesota reader Todd Koehnen writes with a message that makes me think Ambassador Bolton's efforts may be winning a similar following:

I have been so impressed with Ambassador John Boltons efforts in trying to bring some needed clarity and resolve to an utterly corrupted and ineffective organization. I think you should design (& sell) a t-shirt with Ambassador John Boltons face that reads something like Bolton is the man. If you offered something like this, with a Power Line (or Northern Alliance) logo somewhere (of course), it would likely be a big hit.

Keep up the great work.

Posted by: rdw on July 21, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

rdw plucked this turd from the toxic sewer of right-wing hate speech that is "powerline":

I have been so impressed with Ambassador John Boltons efforts in trying to bring some needed clarity and resolve to an utterly corrupted and ineffective organization.

John Bolton is himself utterly corrupt and is only "effective" at blocking and disrupting the clarity and resolve of the United Nations Security Council according to the wishes of his gangster thug boss Dick Cheney.

As always, rdw is an idolator of evil, and is a cheerleader for corruption, criminality, and brutality.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on July 21, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 said: "watcher: But what *I* wanna know is ...

How much did they pay those actors to get so incredibly skinny for the footage shot after the American troops "liberated" the so-called death camps?"

Shows you know stuff all about history:

American troops "liberated" the concentration camps in GERMANY,... you know, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, etc.

"there were no extermination camps on GERMAN soil..." quote from Simon Wiesenthal, the infamous "Nazi hunter" in the British periodical Books and Bookmen (April 1975, p5).

So even the bigot Simon Wiesenthal states that Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, and other concentration camps in Germany were not death camps.

What I find interesting, is that the many Jews here have no answer to the Israel Fakes a Provocation (the "kidnapping" of Cpl Gilad Shalit) article above. They just ignore it. Is that standard practice for you Jews?

Posted by: NoLongerWatching on July 21, 2006 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

NoLongerWatching:

You obviously just. don't. get. deadpan sardonicism.

I've seen the films. Emaciated bodies of surviors. Bodies stacked in piles upon piles. Bones in pits.

Yeah, a real hoax that was.

Now log off this blog forever, you worthless neo-nazi piece of shit.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 21, 2006 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 -- which part of:

"there were no extermination camps on GERMAN soil..." quote from Simon Wiesenthal, the infamous "Nazi hunter" in the British periodical Books and Bookmen (April 1975, p5).

didn't you understand? I will see if I can help you out of your ignorance.

Posted by: NoLongerWatching on July 22, 2006 at 1:17 AM | PERMALINK

NoLongerWatching:

*rolling eyes*

I'm not going to have a discussion with a Holocaust-denier.

Go peddle your out-of-context quotes elsewhere.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 22, 2006 at 2:58 AM | PERMALINK

NoLongerWatching:

Here, asshole. From Wikipedia. Choke on it.

The terms extermination camp (German: Vernichtungslager) or death camp
(German: Todeslager) specifically refer to the camps whose primary
function was genocide.

Extermination camps are distinguished from concentration camps (such
as Dachau and Belsen), which were mostly located in Germany and
intended as places of incarceration and forced labour for a variety of
"enemies of the state" of the Nazi regime (such as Communists and
homosexuals). In the early years of the Nazi regime, many Jews were
sent to these camps, but after 1942 all Jews were deported to the
extermination camps.

They should also be distinguished from slave labor camps, which were
set up in all German-occupied countries to exploit the labor of
prisoners of various kinds, including prisoners of war. Many Jews were
worked to death in these camps, but eventually the Jewish labor force,
no matter how useful to the German war effort, was destined for
extermination. In all Nazi camps there were very high death rates as a
result of starvation, disease, exhaustion, and extreme brutality, but
only the extermination camps were designed specifically for mass
killing.

The distinction between extermination camps and concentration camps
was made by the Nazis themselves. As early as September, 1942, an SS
doctor witnessed a gassing and wrote in his diary 'They don't call
Auschwitz the camp of annihilation (das Lager der Vernichtung) for
nothing!'[1] When one of Eichmann's deputies, Dieter Wisliceny, was
interrogated at Nuremberg, he was asked for the names of
'extermination camps', and answered referring to Auschwitz and
Majdanek as such. When asked 'How do you classify camps Mauthausen,
Dachau and Buchenwald?' he replied 'They were normal concentration
camps from the point of view of the department of Eichmann.'[2]
[edit]

The camps

Most accounts of the Holocaust recognise six extermination camps, all
located in occupied Poland. These were:

* Auschwitz II (Auschwitz-Birkenau) (Auschwitz I was a concentration
camp and Auschwitz III a labor camp)
* Belzec
* Chelmno (German: Kulmhof an der Nehr, Polish: Chelmno nad Nerem)
* Majdanek
* Sobibsr
* Treblinka

Of these, Auschwitz II and Chelmno were located within areas of
western Poland annexed by Germany - the other four were located within
the General Government area. Another two death camps were located
outside Poland:

* Jasenovac extermination camp was operated by the Nazi puppet
Croatian Ustase regime, and had Serbs as its primary victims.
However, Jews, Gypsies and political prisoners were also killed
there, like in other concentration camps. The genocide in
Jasenovac was committed by Croatian Ustase, who had a racial
extermination programme, formulated by Mile Budak, before and
independently of the Wannsee plan. Ustase started exterminating
Serbs at such a pace and with such enthusiasm, that in late 1941
German Nazis decided to take measures to restrain the genocide,
before they resorted to similar actions in their death camps.
Overall, the death toll makes Jasenovac the third most productive
in Holocaust, and the only one which did not have Jews as main
target.

* Maly Trostenets, a much less known camp than the other, was
located in present-day Belarus.

Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibsr were constructed during Operation
Reinhard, the codename for the systematic killing of the Jews of
Europe, widely known under the euphemism, the "final solution of the
Jewish question" (Endlvsung der Judenfrage). The operation was decided
at the Wannsee Conference of January 1942 and carried out under the
administrative control of Adolf Eichmann.

While Auschwitz II was part of a labour camp complex, and Majdanek
also had a labour camp, the Reinhard camps and Chelmno were pure
extermination camps, built solely to kill vast numbers of Jews within
hours of arrival - the only prisoners sent to these camps not
immediately murdered were those used as slave labour directly
concerning the extermination process (e.g. to remove the corpses from
the gas chambers). These camps were small in size - only several
hundred meters on each side - as only minimal housing and support
facilities were required. Arriving persons were told that they were
merely at a transit stop for relocation east.

In addition, many non-Jews were also killed in these camps - Serbs
were main victims in Jasenovac, while many (non-Jewish) Poles and
Soviet prisoners of war were killed in the other death camps.

The number of people killed at these death camps has been estimated as
follows:

* Auschwitz II: about 1,100,000
* Belzec: at least 436,000
* Chelmno:at least 152,000
* Majdanek: 78,000 [3] - 235,000
* Sobibsr: at least 170,000
* Treblinka: at least 800,000
* Jasenovac: 500,000-840,000^[citation needed]
* Maly Trostenets: at least 60,000

This gives a total of at least 3,600,000, and possibly 4,600,000. Of
these, over 80% were Jews. These camps thus accounted for about half
the total number of Jews killed in the entire Nazi Holocaust,
including almost the whole Jewish population of Poland.

Posted by: rmck1 on July 22, 2006 at 3:48 AM | PERMALINK

NoLongerWatching:

A final point: Your distinction between the pure death camps and the concentration camps which the Americans liberated, is tendentious in the extreme.

I have seen the footage. I was with my girlfriend at the time. Neither of us could sleep for hours. It is one of the most horrific pieces of film I have ever experienced, and its memory is etched in my brain.

No, they weren't death camps per se. There were survivors, miserably emaciated, faces evoking a pity that cannot be described.

And there were piles and piles of corpses. And pits filled with skeletons.

It almost makes the death-in-24hrs of the other sort of camps seem merciful by comparison.

Now let's drop the subject, shall we.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 22, 2006 at 3:57 AM | PERMALINK

rmck1 -- which part of:

"there were no extermination camps on GERMAN soil..." quote from Simon Wiesenthal, the infamous "Nazi hunter" in the British periodical Books and Bookmen (April 1975, p5).

didn't you understand? I will see if I can help you out of your ignorance.

You cut and paste a long article,... for what? It was totally irrelevant. I ask again: which part of:

"there were no extermination camps on GERMAN soil..." quote from Simon Wiesenthal, the infamous "Nazi hunter" in the British periodical Books and Bookmen (April 1975, p5).

didn't you understand? I will see if I can help you out of your ignorance.

Posted by: NoLongerWatching on July 22, 2006 at 4:01 AM | PERMALINK

"I have seen the footage. I was with my girlfriend at the time."

Sure: I have seen the same footage. I have seen the heaps of dead bodies at Dachau, but,...

If Dachau was not a death camp (as Simon Wiesenthal and every historian now says), then why all the dead bodies? A fair question.

Here and here are pictures of thousands of healthy prisoners on liberation day at Dachau.

Why all the healthy prisoners? Why are some miserably emaciated, some wasted away corpses and some quite healthy? Any idea?

Posted by: NoLongerWatching on July 22, 2006 at 4:25 AM | PERMALINK

NoLongerWatching:

Listen -- let me make this as clear as I can: GO FUCK YOURSELF.

You piece of shit Holocaust denier, I posted the HISTORY of the death camps and all you can retort with is "it's irrelevant."

WHY is it "irrelevant?" Because you're a loathesome ideologue racist troll, attempting to suck me into a game of leading questions.

Why were there so many dead bodies? Gee, I dunno. Maybe something got into the SWIMMING POOL FILTER.

Now stop fucking badgering me; I am NOT interested in providing you an excuse to excrete your lying, filthy boilerplate on this blog.

Respond again, and I'll email Kevin and ask him to pull your IP.

Respond again with a different handle -- and I will rinse and repeat until I drive you the FUCK out of here.

Do I make myself clear?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 22, 2006 at 5:35 AM | PERMALINK

Gee bob, you are a nasty piece of work.

You ask: "How much did they pay those actors to get so incredibly skinny for the footage shot after the American troops "liberated" the so-called death camps?"

I mention the fact that even Simon Wiesenthal states that there were no death camps in Germany (and every historian now believes this).

Maybe you have not made the connection. So, let me make the connection clear:

There were no death camps among those liberated by the Americans, because they were all in Germany, and there were no death camps in Germany.

So again, I ask: which part of:

"there were no extermination camps on GERMAN soil..." quote from Simon Wiesenthal, the infamous "Nazi hunter" in the British periodical Books and Bookmen (April 1975, p5).

didn't you understand? I will see if I can help you out of your ignorance.

Posted by: NoLongerWatching on July 22, 2006 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

If this maniac is NoLongerWatching, what's his problem? He's as phoney as his handle.

His mental problem is a religious aesthetic, and it's a terrific illustration of why I earlier said people suffering from religious dementia should be regarded as legally incompetent.

Though I'm pretty sure with him it's only the tip of the iceberg.

Posted by: cld on July 22, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Bet he suffers from dental-phobia, too. Because you never know if your dentist is a secret Jew. Because everyone knows dental schools all over the world have secret classes just for Jews, where they learn how to put radioactive tracer elements in your fillings so they can be monitored from orbit.

Who ever heard of fluoride until after World War II? Pretty suspicious! And iodine in salt! It makes perfect sense, when you think about it.

Posted by: cld on July 22, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

That's what Marathon Man was actually all about. It was an Ann Coulter-like pre-emptive strike against the truth.

Posted by: cld on July 22, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

NoLongerWatching:

> Gee bob, you are a nasty piece of work.

No, actually I'm not a nasty piece of work. I'm fairly good-natured,
and tend to be a lot more patient with the trolls on this site than
most. For example, the very fact that I'm responding to you civilly.

"A nasty piece of work" is a Holocaust denier. That's you, my friend.
A Holocaust denier is a person so filled with hatred that they exist
in their own parallel intellectual universe. If you think I harbor
any illusions of getting you to see the light, you'd be mistaken.
You're already damned. Your mind, heart and soul are poisoned.

I'm just writing this for my own entertainment, and the amusement
of the one or two regulars who might check out an old thread.

If you think anyone else on this site is going to agree with your
parallel-universe version of history, you'd be mistaken as well.

> You ask: "How much did they pay those actors to get
> so incredibly skinny for the footage shot after the
> American troops "liberated" the so-called death camps?"

I was being sardonic. Do you know what being sardonic means? It's
like sarcasm, only darker. You're apparently so literal-minded
that you thought the locutions in that sentence indicated that
I harbor doubts about whether or not the Holocaust happened.

Well, like most forms of irony, they meant quite the reverse.

(Does it make you feel like a complete idiot that
I spell this out for you? If not -- it should.)

> I mention the fact that even Simon Wiesenthal states that there were
> no death camps in Germany (and every historian now believes this).

And I responded with a chunk from Wikipedia confirming that. You
respond by calling the quote irrelevant. It wasn't; it indicated
precisely where the death camps resided in Nazi-controlled territory.

In my quote above, when I referred to the death camps as "so-called,"
I was being acidic. I know damn well that Holocaust-deniers begin
their spiel with the historical fact that there were no death camps
in Germany itself as a way to plant the initial seeds of doubt. "Gee,
if there were no death camps in Germany, I wonder how much else about
the Holocaust is a legend, or a fabrication, or a plain old lie?"

My black humor was riffing precisely on your methodology with the
historically ignorant you're trolling for who have vague suspicions
about the Jews and want a *reason to believe* in their "evil."

News flash: I am not one of them, nor do they post on this site.
Criticism of Israel in no way requires your gutter anti-semitism.

> Maybe you have not made the connection.
> So, let me make the connection clear:

Maybe *you* are a steaming sack of shit.

> There were no death camps among those liberated by
> the Americans, because they were all in Germany,
> and there were no death camps in Germany.

> So again, I ask: which part of:

> "there were no extermination camps on GERMAN soil..." quote
> from Simon Wiesenthal, the infamous "Nazi hunter" in the
> British periodical Books and Bookmen (April 1975, p5).

> didn't you understand?

Most were in Poland. One was in the Balkans,
one in Belarus. All Nazi territory at the time.

> I will see if I can help you out of your ignorance.

I run a pure text inteface for blogging, so your "two pictures are
worth a Wikipedia post" strategy is impotent with me. Doubtless
the pictures are taken wildly out of context in any case.

So to return the favor of being painfully explicit: The conditions
in the concentration camps, the POW camps and forced-labor camps
that the Americans liberated in Germany were abominable, with huge
death rates. Not like the Nazis honored the Geneva Conventions or
anything. The corpses in those films rather explain themselves.

Are we done yet? Are you ready to move on to
another site to find some half-ignorant asshole
with an axe to grind to peddle your lying bilge?

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 22, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

> Gee bob, you are a nasty piece of work.

"No, actually I'm not a nasty piece of work. I'm fairly good-natured, and tend to be a lot more patient with the trolls on this site than most. For example, the very fact that I'm responding to you civilly."

REALLY BOB - SO YOUR YELLING "GO FUCK YOURSELF." WAS JUST YOU BEING CIVIL.

Gee bob, I would hate to see you when you are not civil,... do you use a machete, or a knife?

Posted by: watcher on July 22, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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